ISLAMABAD, September 4, 2015: The Punjab Assembly could not take up any of the 34 questions appearing on its agenda as Secretary Health was not present for the sitting on Friday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The House continued to witness low attendance with only 10 (3%) legislators present at the start and 14 (4%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 35 minutes.
Seven lawmakers – five from PML-N and two from PTI – participated in debate on Annual Report of the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority for the year 2011-12 and Annual Report of the Punjab Public Service Commission for the years 2012 and 2013. They spoke on these reports for 46 minutes while Minister for Industries, Commerce & Investment concluded the debate during his four minutes speech.
Following are some key observations of the proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and seven minutes.
- Sitting started at 1032 hours against the scheduled time of 0900 hours, witnessing a delay of an hour and 32 minutes.
- Only 10 (3%) members were present at the start and 14 (4%) at the time of sitting’s adjournment.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was present for 35 minutes.
- The only parliamentary leader to attend the sitting was from PPPP.
- Two out of eight minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three Adjournment Motions (AMs) on the agenda were kept pending. These AMs were related to flood threat in various areas of Mianwali, B.Sc classes in girls’ colleges of Gujranwala not being conducted and Punjab Education board not allowing first time candidates to sit in exams during supplementary examinations.
- A PTI lawmaker’s privilege motion regarding alleged fake case by Taxila police was taken up and referred to the relevant committee.
- None of 34 starred questions appearing on the agenda was taken up due to absence of Health Secretary.
Order and Institutionalization
- The lawmakers raised 20 Points of Order that consumed 15 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- The Opposition lawmakers staged a walk out for 17 minutes for non-allocation of development funds for MPAs.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was 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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