ISLAMABAD, January 19, 2012: The first sitting of the Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 35 minutes with low attendance of Members. Only 28 were present at the outset of the sitting while 39 present at the adjournment. A maximum of 49 Members (13%) were present at one point of the sitting.
The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a PML Member, which led to the adjournment of the sitting.
Thirty-three questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only eight questions were responded to by the relevant ministries.
A total of 20 Points of Order were raised, which consumed 30 minutes of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any assembly output.
The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were absent
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 35 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1630 hours against the scheduled starting time of 1500 hours. The House proceedings started late by an hour and 30 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for 125 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition were not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PPPP and MMAP attended the sitting, while the leaders of the PMLF and PMLZ were absent.
- A total of 28 Members (8% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 39 (11%) were present when the sitting was adjourned. A maximum of 49 Members (13%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- One minority Member was present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- A Calling Attention Notice was taken up and deferred till the next sitting.
- Thirty-three questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only nine questions were put up and eight were responded by the relevant ministries.
- A total of 20 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- No Bills appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- The annual report of Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) for the year 2010-2011 was not presented.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty Points of Order were raised which consumed 30 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts or walkouts during the sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. The lack of Quorum was pointed out by a female Member of PML. The Chair rung the bells for five minutes, but the due to persistent lack of Quorum the sitting was adjourned.
|After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the first sitting of 33nd session of the Punjab Assembly.
These reports will be released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN Development Organization, a member organization of FAFEN
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