ISLAMABAD, August 19, 2013: The Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Local Government Bill and the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill amid the opposition’s protests in the first sitting of the fifth session on Monday.
Led by the Leader of the Opposition, MQM legislators staged a protest against the passage of the Sindh Local Government Bill for three minutes. Twenty minutes before the end of the sitting, MQM lawmakers walked out in protest after the Law Minister tabled the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2013 under supplementary agenda.
Afterwards the session was prorogued.
Additionally two bills- the Sindh Witness Protection Bill 2013 and the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill 2013 – were laid before the House.
The House also passed the Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Ordinance 2013. Moreover the Sindh HIV and AIDS Control Treatment and Protection Ordinance 2013 was laid before the House.
The assembly adopted a resolution to condemn the attack on the office of Express TV Channel and called upon the provincial government to arrest the culprits and provide protection to journalists.
The Speaker chaired the sitting, which was also attended by the Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The parliamentary leaders of PML-F, PTI and PML-N were present.
An MQM lawmaker presented an adjournment motion over more than a dozen deaths in Karachi due to the consumption of poisonous liquor. The Sindh Minister of Excise and Taxation assured the mover that strict action would be taken against the culprits.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for four hour and 27 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1152 hours witnessing a delay of two hour and 22 minutes against the scheduled start time of 0930 hours.
- A total of 105 Members were present at the outset of the sitting and 92 at the end. At one point, a maximum of 113 Members were present in the sitting.
- The Speaker presided over the sitting. The Deputy Speaker attended four hours and 20 minutes of the proceedings.
- The Chief Minister attended the sitting for three hours and 42 minutes and the Leader of the Opposition for four hours and two minutes.
- Parliamentary leaders of PMLF, PMLN and PTI attended the sitting.
- None of the Members applied for leave.
- Six minority Members were present.
- A PMLF MPA took oath during the proceedings.
- The House passed two treasury backed bills: the Sindh Local Government Bill 2013 and the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2013.
- Additionally, two bills- the Sindh Witness Protection Bill, 2013 and the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (Amendment) Bill, 2013 were laid before the House.
- Of the two ordinances laid before the House, the Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 was passed. The other ordinance was the Sindh HIV and AIDS Control Treatment and Protection Ordinance 2013.
- The House adopted a resolution to condemn the attack on the office of Express TV Channel and demanded the arrest of the culprits and protection to media professionals and Channels.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three Starred Questions on the Orders Of The Day were taken up and responded on the floor. Additionally, members asked 15 supplementary questions.
- An Adjournment Motion regarding deaths in Karachi due to the consumption of poisonous liquor was moved by an MQM member. Two MPAs spoke on the motion consuming 12 minutes of the proceedings.
Order and Institutionalization
- Lawmakers raised seven Point of Orders consuming 16 minutes of the sitting.
- MQM members protested twice during the sitting. They staged a protest against the passage of the Sindh Local Government Bill for three minutes. Towards the end of the sitting, the MQM lawmakers staged a walkout, after a three minute protest, as the law minister tabled the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2013 under supplementary agenda.
- Orders of the Day was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), a member organization of FAFEN
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