ISLAMABAD, June 7, 2012: Starting an hour and 20 behind schedule, the first sitting of Sindh Assembly’s 36th session passed two Bills as the MQM legislators walked out of the House over the issue of law and order in Karachi.
The House, which met for two hours and 10 minutes on Thursday, also unanimously passed a Resolution about fresh authorization for legislation on plant breeders’ rights.
The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Amendment) Bill 2012 and The Habib University Bill 2012 were unanimously passed by the House. The remaining three Bills on the Agenda were introduced. The Protection of Religious Minorities’ Properties Bill 2012 was introduced and sent to the respective Standing Committee for further deliberations.
The sitting witnessed low attendance of Members as 35 were present at the outset and 65 were there when it was adjourned.
Protesting over the law and order in Karachi, MQM legislators staged a 33-minute walkout.
The following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Sindh Assembly met for two hours and 10 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1120 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1000 hours. The proceedings were delayed by an hour and 20 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PPPP, PML (F-B), PML and ANP were present while those of MQM, PMLF and NPP did not attend the sitting.
- Thirty-five (21% of 166) Members were present at the start while 65 (39%) were there when the sitting was adjourned.
- Seven minority Members were present during the proceedings.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Eleven out of 21 questions appearing on the Agenda were taken up, and five supplementary questions were also asked.
- The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Amendment) Bill 2012 and the Habib University Bill 2012 were unanimously passed by the House. The remaining three Bills on the Agenda were introduced.
- The Resolution was passed regarding fresh authorization for legislation on plant breeders’ rights.
Order and Institutionalization
- Six Points of Order consumed 14 minutes of the sitting time. However none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- MQM members staged a walkout protesting against the law and order in Karachi. They went out of the House at 1157 hours and came back 1230 hours.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information about Members’ attendance was unavailable 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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