ISLAMABAD, January 5, 2015: Starting an hour and two minutes behind schedule, the last (16th) sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s 11th session witnessed the passage of Punjab Local Government (Third Amendment) Bill 2014, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
The House continued to witness low attendance with only 27 (7%) legislators present at the start and 83 (22%) at the time of sitting’s adjournment. The Leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting. Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 34 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1602 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The House observed a break for 31 minutes.
- Twenty-seven members (7%) were present at the start and 83 (22%) at the time of sitting’s adjournment.
- A maximum of 89 members (24%) were seen at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 46 minutes while the remaining proceedings were presided over by a member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader not attend the sitting.
- None of the parliamentary leaders were present.
- Two out of eight minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
- Introduced by the Provincial Law Minister, the House passed the Punjab Local Government (Third Amendment) Bill 2014. Thirty-two members from treasury benches and one from the opposition was present when the bill was passed.
Representation and Responsiveness
- PML-N lawmaker moved an adjournment motion regarding dissolution of angiography department from District Headquarters Hospital, Gujranwala. However, the motion was deferred till the next sitting.
- The House took up another adjournment motion moved by a PML lawmaker regarding a robbery in Kasur which will be also responded in the next session.
- Twelve out of 35 starred questions appearing on the agenda were answered by the relevant departments while the MPAs raised 25 supplementary questions.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised 17 points of order that consumed 12 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed during the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was not available to the observers and public.
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The daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are regretted.
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