ISLAMABAD, February 26, 2013: The Punjab Assembly’s 45th session was prorogued aftre the first sitting, leaving most of the agenda unaddressed.
The question hour was the only agenda item taken up during the sitting as a representative of the Department of Higher Education responded to one of two questions brought on the floor. The assembly did not take up five resolutions and a general debate regarding young doctors’ strike.
The sitting was marked by low attendance. Only 51 members (14%) were present at the outset while 44 (12%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 120 (33%) were present at one point of sitting. The quorum, visibly lacking during various stages of the sitting, was pointed out once by a PML member.
The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition and all of the parliamentary leaders did not attend the proceedings.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and eight minutes.
- The house observed a 35-minute break during the proceedings.
- The sitting started at 1750 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours, witnessing a delay of two hours and 50 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting.
- The Chief Minister, Leader of the Opposition as well as all the parliamentary leaders of PML, MMAP, PMLF and PMLZ did not attend the sitting.
- Fifty-one (14%) members were present at the outset while 44 (12%) were there at the time of adjournment. A maximum of 120 MPAs (32%) were present at a point during the sitting.
- Three minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Two of the 22 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up and only one was responded to by the representative of the relevant ministry. Additionally, two supplementary questions were asked.
- The house did not take up a general debate on young doctors’ strike and five resolutions regarding illegal land encroachments, a riba free economic system, upgradation of Queen Marry College, homeless women and children, and dispensaries in educational institutions.
Order and Institutionalization
- Nine points of order consumed 20 minutes of the sitting time. Two points of orders required the Chair’s ruling.
- 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 and was pointed out by a member belonging to PML. In response to this the assembly bells were rung for five minutes and the proceedings continued as the quorum was found completed afterwards.
- 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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