ISLAMABAD, June 24, 2015: The Sindh Assembly concluded its budget debate for the fiscal year 2015-16 on Wednesday as the House continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 40 minutes behind the schedule with 32 members (19% of the total membership) present at the start and 73 (43%) at the time of adjournment. The Finance Minister spoke on the budget for two hours and 16 minutes, while five other lawmakers – four from PPPP and one from MQM – shared their views for 180 minutes.
The House approved 33 demands for grants for the supplementary budget statement 2014-15 and also approved charged expenditure without any discussion.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for seven hours and 19 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1040 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- 32 members (19%) were present at the start and 73 (43%) at the end of the sitting.
- A maximum of 93 (55%) members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for six hours and 29 minutes.
- The rest of the sitting was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Chief Minister attended the sitting for six hours and 31 minutes.
- The Opposition Leader was present for six hours and 41 minutes.
- The Finance Minister attended the entire sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, MQM, PML-F, PML-N and PTI were present.
- Five members on non-Muslim seats attended the proceedings.
- No member applied for leave.
- The House approved 33 demands for grants for the supplementary budget statement 2014-15 and also approved charged expenditure without any discussion.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The Finance Minister concluded the budget debate in his 136-minute speech.
- Five lawmakers – four from PPPP and one from MQM – spoke on the budget for 180 minutes.
Order and Institutionalization
- Three points of order consumed 20 minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- Lawmakers of PML-N, PML-F and PTI walked out of the House to condemn the Chief Minister’s remarks against the opposition parties for 29 minutes. They had earlier staged a three-minute protest on same issue within the House.
- The same lawmakers also protested the Senior Minister for Education’s remarks against them for six minutes.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and the public.
- Information on members’ attendance was also available to the observers and the public.
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This daily factsheet is based on direct observation of the Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation – a member organization of FAFEN. Errors and omissions are excepted.
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