ISLAMABAD, January 04, 2013: Starting 52 minutes late, the 13th sitting of the ongoing 43rd session of the Punjab Assembly was marked by low attendance and key-members’ absence.
Only eight members were present at the outset while 12 were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 35 members were present at one point of sitting.
The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker, and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP, and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
A standing committee report about the Defence Housing Authority Bill 2013 was presented before the house. The house also discussed the issue of violence by the young doctors in a hospital of Gujranwala.
Further, an adjournment motion about the termination of Allied Health Sciences Program by 11 medical colleges of Punjab was raised.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 44 minutes.
- The sitting started at 0952 hours against the scheduled starting time of 0900 hours, witnessing a delay of 52 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP, and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- Only eight (2% of the total membership) members were present at the outset while 12 (3%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 35 members were present at one point of sitting.
- Three minority members were present.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting but it was not pointed out by any member.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Thirteen of 34 starred questions (requiring oral responses) appearing on the agenda were asked and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 35 supplementary questions were asked.
- A general discussion was held regardingthe issue of violence by the young doctors in a hospital of Gujranwala.
- An adjournment motion about the termination of Allied Health Sciences Program (AHS) by 11 medical colleges of Punjab was raised by a PML lawmaker.
- A standing committee report about the Defence Housing Authority Bill 2013 was presented by the Standing Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering.
- General discussion on the report of TEVTA for the year 2010-11 was not held.
Order and Institutionalization
• There was no incident of protest, walkout or boycott during the sitting.
• The List of Business was available to the legislators, observers and others.
• Information about members’ attendance was unavailable to the 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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