ISLAMABAD, February 19, 2015: Amid low attendance, the Punjab Assembly passed two bills during its sixth sitting of the ongoing session on Thursday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 64 minutes behind the schedule with 39 legislators (11%) present at the start and 83 (22%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting. Among parliamentary leaders, only the JI leader was present.
The House passed the Parks and Horticulture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Punjab Strategic Coordination (Amendment) Bill 2015, which were both introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs.
A PML lawmaker pointed out the quorum at 1924 hours, following which the Deputy Speaker ordered the bells to be rung for five minutes. The Chair ordered for the count but the quorum was found to be incomplete. As a result, the sitting was adjourned till Friday.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 26 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1604 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The House observed a prayer break for 33 minutes.
- Thirty-nine (11%) MPAs were present at the start and 83 (22%) at the end of the sitting.
- The sitting was entirely chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
- Among parliamentary leaders, only the JI leader was present.
- Three out of eight minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
- The House passed the Parks and Horticulture Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Punjab Strategic Coordination (Amendment) Bill 2015, which were both introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law & Parliamentary Affairs.
- The Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Bill 2015 was not tabled during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Nine out of 17 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up during the sitting, while the MPAs raised 19 supplementary questions.
- The House took up five adjournment motions on overcharging by transporters; corruption in Sargodha Provincial Building Division; sale of drugs and wine at hotels, non-regularization of employees in the education departments of Kasur, Gujrat and Sargodha; and lack of basic facilities in 22,000 female schools in the province.
- The House took up a calling attention notice sponsored by a PML lawmaker regarding rape and kidnapping of a girl in Ahmedpur Sharqia, Bahawalpur.
- A PML-N lawmaker’s privilege motion against the vice chancellor of Government College University Faisalabad was taken up and referred to the relevant standing committee.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twelve points of order consumed eight minutes of the sitting.
- The sitting was adjourned due to lack of quorum pointed out by a PML lawmaker.
- No protests/walkouts/boycotts were witnessed.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to the observers and the 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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