ISLAMABAD, October 20, 2014: Starting two hours behind the schedule, the Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014 and unanimously adopted five resolutions during the first sitting of 15th session on Monday, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Tabled by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014 with no lawmaker opposing it. Two other bills – the Sindh Workers Welfare Fund Bill 2014 and the Dow University of Health Sciences (Amendment) Bill 2014 – were deferred despite being on the agenda.
The MQM members boycotted the session over the alleged discriminatory attitude of the provincial government and the remarks of the PPPP Chairperson against the MQM Chief.
Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for four hours and eight minutes.
- The sitting started at 1200 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours, witnessing a delay of two hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for three hours and 28 minutes while the Deputy Speaker for 40 minutes.
- The Chief Minister attended the sitting for three hours and one minute while the Leader of the Opposition was absent.
- The parliamentary leaders of PPPP, MQM and PML-F attended the sitting.
- One hundred and two members (61%) were present at the outset and 28 (17%) at the adjournment of the sitting.
- Six minority members attended the sitting.
- Three legislators applied for leave.
- Tabled by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, the House passed the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2014.
- The House unanimously adopted five different resolutions 1) to congratulate the PPPP Chairperson on his formal debut in politics during a gathering in Karachi 2) to condemn Indian army shelling on civilian settlements in Pakistan 3) to felicitate Malala Yousafzai for winning Nobel Peace Prize for Pakistan 4) to establish Muhammad Ibrahim Joyo Bureau of Translation 5) and to seek raise in support price of cotton and rice.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Three out of four starred questions (requiring oral as well) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded to by the relevant ministers while 7 supplementary questions were also asked.
- The House took up a privilege motion submitted by a PPPP lawmaker against a senior member of the Sindh Board of Revenue Malik Israr for not contacting him despite his repeated efforts. The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs assured the mover of presenting a report in this regard in two days.
Order and Institutionalization
- The MQM members boycotted the session over alleged discriminatory attitude of the provincial government and the remarks of the PPPP Chairperson against the MQM Chief.
- Ten points of order consumed seven minutes of the proceedings’ time.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and others.
- Information on members’ attendance was available to observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Sindh Assembly proceedings conducted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), a member organization of FAFEN.
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