ISLAMABAD, February 16, 2015: The Sindh Assembly passed a bill and adopted two resolutions as the House continued to witness low attendance of lawmakers on Monday, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The sitting started 35 minutes behind the schedule with 17 members (11%) present at the start and 68 (40%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for 93% of the proceedings.
The House passed the Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill 2015 that was introduced by the Minister for Education and deferred the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 on the request of the mover.
The House unanimously adopted a supplementary resolution demanding diplomatic passports for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker in addition to official passports for MPAs and their family members. Another supplementary resolution opposing the recovery of gas levy in the form of infrastructure development cess was also adopted unanimously during the sitting. Both resolutions were tabled by PPPP lawmakers.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for two hours and 54 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1035 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 34 minutes, while the remaining proceedings were presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting, while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 41 minutes.
- Seventeen members (11%) were present at the start and 68 (40%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 78 (46%) members were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of MQM, PPPP, PML-F and PML-N were present.
- Five minority members attended the sitting.
- Four members applied for leave.
- The House passed the Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill 2015 introduced by the Minister for Education and deferred the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2015 on the request of the mover.
- The House unanimously adopted a supplementary resolution demanding diplomatic passports for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker in addition to official passports for MPAs and their family members.
- Another resolution opposing the recovery of gas levy in form of infrastructure development cess was also unanimously adopted.
- The biannual monitoring reports on the implementation of NFC award for July-December 2012 and January-June 2013 were presented during the sitting.
- A quarterly report on receipt, revenue, expenditures, capital expenditure and development expenditure during October-December 2014 was also presented.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Seven out of 12 starred questions appearing on the agenda were taken up during the sitting. In addition, the MPAs raised 25 supplementary questions.
- The House took up four calling attention notices (CANs) regarding funds collected from the sale of plots in Karachi Development Authority Scheme 41, five percent job quota for minorities in the government, recruitment criteria and service structure of doctors in the Prisons Department, projects being run by the Health Department and kidnapping cases registered in Khairpur between January 2014 and January 2015.
- The House also took up an adjournment motion moved by a PML-F lawmaker regarding private schools functioning without fulfilling the legal requirements in Sukkur.
Order and Institutionalization
- Eighteen points of order consumed 25 minutes of the proceedings.
- PML-F lawmakers staged a one-minute protest against PPPP during the sitting.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and others.
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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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