ISLAMABAD, September 2, 2015: The sixth sitting of the Punjab Assembly’s ongoing 16th session had to be suspended for 22 minutes due to absence of Secretary Schools Education Department during the question hour, says Free and Fair Election Network in its daily factsheet.
As per Chairs’ ruling, presence of relevant Secretary as well as Minister is essential during the Question Hour. The Chair suspended the proceedings at 1136 hours due to absence of Secretary Schools Education Department as 35 questions related to this department were on the agenda of sitting. The sitting resumed at 1158 hours when the Secretary appeared before the House.
The House continued to witness low attendance as only 30 legislators (8%) were present at the outset and 62 (17%) at the adjournment of the sitting. Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, however it was not pointed out by any of the lawmakers in the House.
The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting while the Leader of Opposition was present for 67% of proceedings’ time (95 minutes). In addition, only PPPP’s parliamentary leader was present.
Tabled by Provincial Minister for Law, the House adopted two resolutions to extend the period of two ordinances for further 90 days. The first resolution sought extension in the Punjab Safe Cities Authority Ordinance 2015 for ninety days with effect from October 5, 2015. The ordinance was promulgated on July 7, 2015. The other resolution sought extension in the Punjab Forest (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 – promulgated on July 17, 2015 – for a further period of ninety days with effect from October 15, 2015.
Following are some of the key observations:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 22 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1122 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- Thirty members (8%) were present at the outset and 62 (17%) at the time of adjournment of the sitting.
- Deputy Speaker chaired the entire sitting.
- Leader of the House did not attend the sitting while the Opposition Leader was present for 95 minutes.
- Only PPPP’s parliamentary leader attended the sitting.
- Four out of eight minority members attended the proceedings.
- None of the members applied for leave.
- Tabled by Provincial Minister for Law, the House adopted two resolutions to extend the period of two ordinances for further 90 days.
- The House witnessed presentation of Special Audit Report on the Accounts of Sargodha Improvement Trust, Housing, Urban Development & Public Health Engineering Department for the year 2009-2010 and Audit Report on Widening/Improvement of Road from Bunga Hayat-Pakpattan-Arifwala, Communication & Works Department for audit year 2011-12.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eleven out of 35 starred questions were taken up and responded by the relevant government departments. In addition, the lawmakers raised 28 supplementary questions.
- The House took up an adjournment motion for proper legislation in order to check the sale of dead animals’ meat.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised 11 Points of Order which consumed 15 minutes of the sitting.
- PTI lawmakers protested within the House for three minutes when the House rejected a motion to consider an out-of-turn resolution condemning gas price hike.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to legislators, observers and others.
To download the factsheet, click here
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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