ISLAMABAD, December 6, 2013: Low attendance was observed in the 6th sitting of Punjab Assembly’s 5th session, as only 24 MPAs were present at the start, 56 at the end and a maximum of 65 at one point of the proceedings, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet.
Quorum was found lacking throughout the proceedings, however, it was not pointed out by any of the Members. Though appearing on the agenda, the House did not take up the Punjab Workmen’s Compensation (Amendment) Bill 2013.
The Law Minister concluded discussion on law and order in the country, as five MPAs (including the Law Minister) expressed their views for 30 minutes.
Opposition resorted to a 15-minute walkout against the dismissal of Chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Members of PTI and PML presented two Adjournment Motions on the use of substandard medicines and sprays causing deaths and the increase of 5% property tax by Excise Department, respectively.
The Speaker presided over the entire proceedings while the Deputy Speaker was also present. The Chief Minister was absent while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for an hour and 34 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 29 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1017 hours against the scheduled time of 0900 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 17 minutes.
- Twenty-four Members were present at the start and 56 at the adjournment of sitting. A maximum of 65 Members were observed to be present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for one hour and 34 minutes.
- The Parliamentary leaders of PPPP and JI attended the sitting.
- Five Minority Members were present.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Out of 17 Starred questions (requiring oral answers) on the agenda, 11 related to Higher Education Department were taken up. Relevant minister responded to these questions. Members asked 28 Supplementary questions, additionally.
- Five MPAs – four PTI and one PML-N – expressed their views on law and order in the country that consumed 30 minutes of the proceedings’ time. The Law Minister winded up the debate.
- MPAs of PTI and PML presented two Adjournment Motions separately. These were related to the use of substandard medicines and sprays causing deaths and the increase of 5% property tax by Excise Department.
Order and Institutionalization
- MPAs raised four Points of Order which consumed four minutes of the sitting.
- Opposition resorted to a 15-minute walkout against the dismissal of Chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was 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 Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN
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