ISLAMABAD, May 29, 2014: The Punjab Assembly witnessed an uproar in the House during the eighth session as the opposition parties protested against the treasury on various issues. The House passed eight bills and adopted ten resolutions, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its Preliminary Report issued on Thursday.
The House, however, did not open general discussion on Law and Order, Education and Health during all nine sittings.
The eight bills passed during the session included – the Punjab Public Private Partnership Bill 2014, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2014, the Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Livestock Breeding Bill 2014, the Punjab Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2014, the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2014 and Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan Bill 2014.
Three ordinances – the Management and Transfer of Properties by Development Authorities Ordinance 2014, the Bab-e-Pakistan Foundation Ordinance 2014, and the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Ordinance 2014 were also laid during the first sitting.
Ten of 17 resolutions were adopted by the House, including one condemning incidental airing of blasphemous content by a private television channel in its morning transmission. The Assembly also urged the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to act in line with law and justice (moved by PTI and PML-N lawmakers) while other resolutions were related to the blast in coal mines in Turkey, expressing complete confidence and solidarity with Pakistan Army, urging the federal government to give NADRA directives for free issuance of CNIC etc. Nine of ten adopted resolutions were moved by the PML-N lawmakers. Five resolutions were not taken up while one was rejected and another was withdrawn by the mover after getting assurance from the minister.
Legislators conducted government oversight by asking questions and raising call attention notices (CANs). Lawmakers asked 259 starred questions (requiring both oral and written responses) of which 92 were taken up, while 199 supplementary questions were also asked by the members. Most of these questions were related to Health, Excise and Taxation, and Higher Education.
Four call attention notices regarding kidnapping of 20 women for trafficking, murder of a resident in Noor Jamal, Gujrat, rape of a three year old girl in Rahim Yar Khan and dacoity of rupees two million and 35,000 in Baghban Pura Lahore were taken up during the session.
The session, beginning on May 16 2014 and ending on May 28 comprised nine sittings and lasted 17 hours and 20 minutes, with each sitting delayed by an hour and 32 minutes on average, while 4% of the time was consumed in breaks. Party leaders of JI attended eight sittings followed by PPPP (seven) and PML (one) while the BNA-P, PML-Z and PNM-L leaders remained absent throughout the session. The Speaker was present in three sittings and presided over 29% of the session time, while the Deputy Speaker attended seven sittings, and presided over 62% of the session time. The Leader of the Opposition attended all sittings while the Chief Minister was absent throughout. On average, 59 members were present at the beginning and 108 at the end of each sitting, as were four minority members. Quorum was found lacking in the second, sixth, seventh and eighth sittings and pointed out four times by Independent and PT I lawmakers, but the proceedings were suspended only once for 50 minutes.
Nearly three hours and 30 minutes of the session were consumed in 10 instances of protests and walkouts by members of the PML for not getting permission from the Chair to move the resolution to express solidarity with the armed forces while the remaining instances were sponsored by the entire opposition citing biased attitude of the government in providing development funds, and also on not getting permission to table a resolution regarding bio-metric vote counting system in the province, in addition to signing of an agreement with a neighboring country to launch Metro Rail Project in Lahore etc.
Four privilege motions were moved by PML-N (three male and one female) lawmakers regarding misbehavior of Executive District Officer Education in Multan, attitude of Station House Officer in Galla Mandi Sahiwal and alleged use of derogatory language by the vice chancellor of the University of Sargodha against the PML-N government. Lawmakers raised 67 point of orders which consumed one hour and 72 minutes.
For complete report, click here
The Preliminary report is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN
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