ISLAMABAD, December 21, 2012: The seventh sitting of the 43rd session witnessed a persistent low members’ attendance, leaving most of the agenda on the orders of the day unaddressed.
Only six members were present at the outset, while 40 (11%of total membership) were there at the adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 56 members (15%) were present at any one time. Despite the absence of quorum none of the members pointed it during the sessions’ proceedings.
The assembly did not take up four treasury- backed bills, two standing committee reports and a motion under rule 244-A that were on the list of business for the day. The agenda not taken up by the house was brought forward from the previous sitting.
The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Speaker along with the parliamentary leaders did not attend the sitting.
During the question hour 11 out of 17 starred (requiring oral replies) questions on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant minister. An additional 26 supplementary questions were also asked.
20 point of order consuming 23 minutes of the session’s proceedings was raised by the members.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 30 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1050 hours, instead of the scheduled starting time of 0900 hours, and ended at 1220 hours. The proceedings started an hour and 50 minutes late.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML, PMLF, MMAP and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- Six members were present at the outset while 40 were there at the adjournment of the sitting. A maximum of 56 members were present at one time.
- Two minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eleven out of 17 starred questions (requiring oral replies) were taken up; additionally, 26 supplementary questions were asked. The relevant minister was present in the house.
- A motion under rule 244-A regarding the rules and procedures of the house was not taken up.
- Four bills and two standing committee reports on the orders of the day were left unaddressed.
Order and Institutionalization
• Twenty points of order consuming 23 minutes of the sessions’ time were raised.
• There were no protests, boycotts or walkouts during the session.
• Orders of the Day were available to legislators, observers and others.
• Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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