ISLAMABAD, May 21, 2014: The Punjab Assembly passed four bills amid protest by the opposition parties during 4th sitting of the 8th session on Wednesday, says Free and Fair Election Network in its Daily Factsheet based on direct observation of the House.
Introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law, the House passed the Punjab Public Private Partnership Bill 2014, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2014, Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2014 and Punjab Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill.
The Punjab Public Private Partnership Bill 2014 aims to foster an enabling environment for private sector participation for development in Punjab through public private partnership, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2014 seeks establishment of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology in Multan, Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2014 asks for amendment in Mental Health Ordinance 2001 while Punjab Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010 to bring it in conformity with the relevant Conventions (C.87 and C.98) of the International Labour Organization (ILO) ratified by the Government of Pakistan.
The opposition parties recorded their protest for not getting development funds for their respective constituencies and alleged biased attitude of the government in giving such funds to their opponents having affiliation with ruling party. The 40-minute protest continued till the end of the sitting while the opposition members also tore apart copies of the agenda.
Following are some key observations of the Parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings:
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 17 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1122 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 22 minutes.
- There were 36 members at the outset and maximum 157 at the adjournment of sitting.
- The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting as the Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the proceedings while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 53 minutes.
- The parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.
- Three minority members were present.
- Introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law, the House passed the Punjab Public Private Partnership Bill 2014, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan Bill 2014, Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2014 and Punjab Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twelve out of 35 starred questions (requiring oral answers as well) on the Orders of the Day were taken up and responded to by the Health Ministry. Additionally, members asked 34 supplementary questions while four questions were disposed of due to the absence of members.
- Four adjournment motions (AMs) were tabled in the House. Tabled by PPPP lawmaker, the first AM was about the stoppage of health funds by Pakistan Bait ul Maal in the government hospitals, second tabled jointly by two PML-N lawmakers was regarding activities of land mafia in the province, third tabled by three PTI lawmakers was about supply of poor standard foreign seed in markets and fourth tabled by two PTI lawmakers was regarding increase in transport fares in the province.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised five points of order consuming three minutes of the sitting.
- The opposition recorded their protest for not getting development funds for their respective constituencies and alleged biased attitude of government for providing such funds to their opponents having affiliation with the ruling party.
- ‘Orders of the day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
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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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