ISLAMABAD, January 22, 2015: Starting 51 minutes behind schedule, the second sitting of the Sindh Assembly’s 18th session witnessed low attendance as only 11 MPAs were present at the outset and 71 at the time of adjournment, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
A government bill to provide employment opportunities and rehabilitate disabled people was introduced during the sitting, while the Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill 2014 was deferred on request of the Finance Minister.
The Leader of the House attended the sitting for six minutes; while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 21 minutes.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for two hours and 42 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1051 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The House took a three-minute break for prayer call.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for two hours and 14 minutes while the remaining time was presided over by the Deputy Speaker.
- The Leader of the House attended the sitting for six minutes while the Opposition Leader was present for two hours and 21 minutes.
- Eleven members (7%) were present at the start and 71 (42%) at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 71 members (42%) were present at one point of the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of PML-F and MQM attended the sitting.
- Four minority members were present.
- Nine members applied for leave.
- The Sindh Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Bill 2014 was introduced during the sitting, while the Sindh Allied Health Professional Council Bill 2014 was deferred.
Representation and Responsiveness
- All the four starred questions appearing on Orders of the Day were taken up and responded by the relevant ministry. In addition, the MPAs raised 19 supplementary questions.
- An MQM member moved an adjournment motion regarding water shortage in Karachi West. However, the Chair did not allow the motion.
- A privilege motion moved by an MQM member regarding non-implementation of a resolution to form a committee on Thar was withdrawn by the mover upon assurance by the relevant minister.
- Only one of the five calling attention notices on the Order of the Day was taken up during the sitting.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on 14 Points of Order which consumed 22 minutes of the proceedings.
- ‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the members, observers and others.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the members.
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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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