Opposition Points out Quorum Five Times during the Sitting
ISLAMABAD, February 1, 2017: The Punjab Assembly passed two government bills and granted extension to three ordinances while the remaining legislative agenda was not taken up by the Chair on Wednesday, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Following are key observations of the House proceedings during eighth sitting of 26th session:
- The Punjab Assembly met for three hours and 58 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1130 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Deputy Speaker was absent.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for an hour and 53 minutes.
- Twenty MPAs (3%) were present at the outset and 105 (28%) at the adjournment of sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of JI and PML-Z attended the sitting.
- Five minority members were present.
- Tabled by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Punjab Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Bill No. 47 of 2016) and the Punjab Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Bill 2016 (Bill No. 48 of 2016).
- The House adopted three resolutions seeking extension for further 90 days of the Punjab Land Records Authority Ordinance 2016 (XVIII of 2016), the Punjab Urban Immovable Property Tax (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 (XIX of 2016) and the Punjab Civil Administration Ordinance 2016 (XX of 2016). The resolutions were tabled by the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs.
- Three other government bills that appeared on the agenda were not taken up by the House.
Representation and Responsiveness
- As many as nine out of 11 Starred Questions were responded to by the government during Question Hour while the remaining two questions were deferred by the Chair. In addition, the lawmakers asked 20 supplementary questions.
- The House deferred an Adjournment Motion submitted by a PML-N lawmaker.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers spoke on 13 Points of Order, consuming as many minutes of the proceedings.
- Entire opposition staged a walkout for 11 minutes against the Chair for not allowing the Opposition Leader to table a supplementary resolution.
- Lawmaker belonging to the opposition – PTI (4), PML-Q (1) – pointed out quorum five times during the proceedings. The head count was made for the first time and the quorum was found complete while on four other occasions, bells were rung for five minutes, followed by head count and the quorum was found complete.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.
- Information on Members’ attendance is available on Punjab Assembly’s website.
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 excepted.
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