ISLAMABAD, January 21, 2013: The Punjab Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution supporting continuity of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions in the first and the only sitting of the 44th session on Monday. The resolution was moved by a PPPP legislator.
The sitting was marked by low attendance as only 41 members were present at the outset while 71 were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 105 (28%) were present at one point of sitting. The quorum, visibly lacking during various stages of the sitting, was not pointed out by any member.
The report of the Standing Committee on Education was presented in the house. Further, two calling attention notices about incidents of robbery in Lahore were taken up.
The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting whereas the Chief Minister was not present.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for an hour and 27 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1710 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of two hours and 10 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting. The Leader of the Opposition was present.
- The parliamentary leader of MMAP attended the sitting while those of PML, PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- Forty-one (11%) members were present at the outset while 71 (19%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 105 (28%) were present at one point of sitting.
- Five minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven of the 20 starred questions appearing on the agenda were asked and responded to by the relevant ministries. Additionally, 17 supplementary questions were asked.
- Two calling attention notices appearing on the agenda were taken up by the house.
- The house unanimously adopted a supplementary resolution seeking continuity of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions. It was raised by a PPPP legislator.
- The Standing Committee on Education presented its report before the house.
Order and Institutionalization
• Nine points of order consumed 19 minutes of the sitting time.
- There was no incident of protest, walkout or boycott during the sitting.
• The List of Business was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting but it was not pointed out by any member.
• Information about members’ attendance was unavailable to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN.
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