ISLAMABAD, February 23, 2015: Starting 90 minutes behind schedule, the eighth sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s 12th session was marked by passage of two bills amid low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Thirty-five legislators (9%) were present at the start of the sitting and 72 (20%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader did not attend the sitting.
Introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law, the House passed the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Bill 2015 and the NUR International University Lahore Bill 2015.
The quorum was twice pointed out by PML female lawmaker and an Independent lawmaker at 1757 hours and 1921 hours respectively. However, it was found to be complete upon counting.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 38 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled time of 1500 hours.
- The House observed a 29-minute prayer break during the sitting.
- Thirty-five (9%) legislators were present at the start and 72 (20%) at the end of the sitting.
- The sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House and the Opposition Leader were absent.
- Among parliamentary leaders, only the PPPP and JI leaders attended the sitting.
- Four out of eight minority members were present.
- No member applied for leave.
- Introduced by the Provincial Minister for Law, the House passed the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Bill 2015 and the NUR International University Lahore Bill 2015.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Thirteen (32%) out of 41 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant department. In addition, the legislators raised 15 supplementary questions during the sitting.
- The House took up two calling attention notices (CANs) regarding the suicide attack at Police Lines, Lahore and a dacoity incident in Kasur.
- A PML-N lawmaker’s privilege motion against Additional IG Punjab was also taken up and sent to the relevant standing committee.
Order and Institutionalization
- Four points of order consumed two minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- The quorum was twice pointed out by PML female lawmaker and an Independent lawmaker at 1757 hours and 1921 hours respectively. However, it was found to be complete upon counting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and public.
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This 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 excepted.
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