ISLAMABAD, May 4, 2018: The Punjab Assembly passed two bills on Friday including a private member’s bill providing for compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran to Muslim students in educational institutions across province, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Daily Factsheet.
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during sixth sitting of the 35th session:
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 44 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1017 hours against the scheduled time 0900 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Leader of the Opposition attended the proceedings for an hour and 29 minutes.
- As many as 10 MPAs (3%) were present at outset and 40 (12%) at adjournment of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leader of JI was present.
- As many as four minority lawmakers attended the sitting.
- The Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs introduced the Punjab University of Technology Rasul Bill 2018. The bill was referred to the relevant standing committee.
- The House passed the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill 2018, as recommended by Standing Committee on Home. The bill was passed after suspending the requirements of Rule 95 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure which necessitates provision of copies of the bill to the lawmakers at least three days in advance of the day when it is to be considered for passage. The purpose of the bill is to allow mosques to install of four instead of one external sound system for Azaan and other announcements.
- The House also passed by the Punjab Compulsory Teaching of Holy Quran Bill, 2018. It was a private member’s bill moved by a JI lawmaker and was taken into consideration on government business day with the consent of the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs. The bill provides for compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran to Muslim students in all educational institutions across province.
- The House did not take up two government bills appearing on Orders of the Day.
- The Standing Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Privileges presented their report to the House.
- The House granted 24-days extension to the Standing Committees on Excise & Taxation, Livestock & Dairy Development, Housing, Urban Development & Public Health Engineering and Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries for presentation of their report.
Representation and Responsiveness
- As many as six out of 23 Starred Questions were taken up for answers during the proceedings while 12 questions were deferred due to absence of the relevant ministers and five were disposed of due to absence of the movers. The lawmakers also asked nine supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised 24 Points of Order consuming 33 minutes of the proceedings.
- Entire opposition staged a 13-minute protest and 12-minute walkout during the proceedings demanding the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs to apologize for his misogynist remarks against women political workers of PTI.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Information on Members’ attendance is available on Punjab Assembly’s website.
The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are regretted.
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