ISLAMABAD, October 24, 2014: Starting 55 minutes behind the schedule, the Punjab Assembly passed four bills including two local government bills during the 5th sitting of 10th session on Friday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The House took up all agenda items except a discussion on a resolution regarding political situation and democracy.
The House passed four bills – the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commission Bill 2014 and the Punjab Registration of Godowns Bill 2014 – after discussing them for an hour and 22 minutes.
The Law Minister introduced the Punjab Arms (Amendment) Bill 2014 in the House. The members of PML-N, PPPP and PML tabled two adjournment motions each, of which, three were taken up and disposed of while three were not taken up.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 57 minutes.
- The sitting began at 0955 against the schedule time of 0900 witnessing a delay of 55 minutes.
- Twenty-two members (6%) were present at the outset and 92 (25%) at the end while a maximum of 99 (27%) members were observed at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker presided over the entire proceedings while the Deputy Speaker was also present.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were absent.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP and JI attended the sitting.
- Three minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
- The Law Minister introduced the Punjab Arms (Amendment) Bill 2014 which was referred to the relevant standing committee.
- The House passed four bills including the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commission Bill 2014 and the Punjab Registration of Godowns Bill 2014. The introduced bill was the Punjab Arms (Amendment) Bill 2014.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eight out of 34 starred questions (requiring oral answers) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded by the relevant minister while 13 supplementary questions were also asked.
- The members of PML-N, PPPP and PML tabled two adjournment motions each, of which, three were taken up and disposed of while three were not taken up. The disposed of motions were regarding the government’s failure to reconstruct damaged graveyards in Punjab, breach of embankment and failure of the Town Municipal Administration (TMA) to prevent floods in Layyah.
Order and Institutionalization
- A PML member pointed out lack of quorum which was found complete after head count.
- No incidents of protests, walkouts and boycotts were observed.
- The members spoke on two points of order consuming one minute of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available 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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