ISLAMABAD, February 2, 2015: Starting 20 minutes behind the schedule, the seventh sitting of the Sindh Assembly’s ongoing session was marked by low attendance of lawmakers, says Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its daily factsheet.
Only 13 members (8%) were present at the start of the sitting and 81 (48%) at the time of adjournment. The Leader of the House did not attend the sitting. However, the Opposition Leader was present a major part of the proceedings.
The sitting was marked by extensive debate and passage of a resolution to condemn the deadly attack at an Imambargah in Shikarpur on Friday. The resolution – jointly tabled by lawmakers of PPPP, PML-F, PML-N and MQM – demanded the provincial government to compensate the victims’ families.
The House suspended the agenda on Orders of the Day that included six government bills, five calling attention notices (CANs), questions addressed to the Industries and Information Technology Departments, an adjournment motion and a Question of Privilege.
Following are some key observations of the assembly business:
Members’ Participation in the House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for four hours and 17 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1020 hours against the scheduled time of 1000 hours.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting for three hours and one minute, while the rest of the 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 four hours and two minutes.
- Thirteen members (8%) were present at the outset and 81 (48%) at the time of the sitting’s adjournment.
- A maximum of 82 members (49%) were present during the sitting.
- None of the parliamentary leaders were present.
- Five minority members attended the sitting.
- No member applied for leave.
- The House passed a resolution to condemn the bomb blast at an Imambargah in Shikarpur and debated it for three hours and 54 minutes. Thirty lawmakers – 12 each from PPPP and MQM, five affiliated with PML-F and two belonging to PML-N – participated in the discussion.
- Four bills – the Sindh Board of Technical Education (Amendment) Bill 2015, the Thar Development Authority Bill 2015, the Kohistan Development Authority Bill 2015 and the Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill 2015 – were not introduced during the sitting.
- Two other bills – the Sindh Allied Professional Council Bill 2014 and the Sindh Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Bill 2014 – were not considered despite being on the agenda.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House did not take up questions addressed to the Industries and Information Technology Departments.
- Five calling attention notices were also left unaddressed during the sitting. These were related to establishing fire rescue centers in all districts, doctors who haven’t been promoted since 1995, the ongoing operation against violence in Karachi, inefficiency of the Tehsil Municipal Administration in Lakhi, Shikarpur and corruption in the Sindh Education Foundation.
- A PML-N lawmaker’s privilege motion against objectionable remarks of a PPPP female lawmaker was not taken up during the sitting.
- The House did not take up an adjournment motion filed by an MQM lawmaker regarding ghost employees in the Education Department.
Order and Institutionalization
- Members spoke on four Points of Order that consumed 14 minutes of 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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