Punjab Assembly: Sitting Marked by Low Attendance

August 28, 2013 Off By Web Desk

Lahore: The twelfth sitting of fourth session of Punjab Assembly was marked by low attendance as the House deferred the Punjab Police Order Amendment Bill 2013.

Only 44 MPAs were present at the start and 46 at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 104 members were present at a point during the sitting. The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.

There were two bills on the agenda. The Punjab Police Order Amendment Bill 2013 was taken up and deferred, while the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Multan Bill 2013 was not taken up.

Questions related to the irrigation department were also on the agenda, and a representative of the Minister for Irrigation Department responded to seven out of nine starred questions taken up by the House. The Minister himself was absent.

The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was absent.

Following are some key observations of the House proceedings:

Members’ Participation in House Proceedings

a.. The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 35 minutes.
b.. The sitting started at 1155 hours, an hour and 55 minutes behind the scheduled start time of 1000 hours.
c.. Forty-four members were present at the beginning, 46 at the end, and a maximum of 104 members at a point during the sitting.
d.. The Speaker presided over the entire proceedings. The Deputy Speaker was absent.
e.. The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting, while the Leader of Opposition attended the sitting for 15 minutes.
f.. The Parliamentary Leaders of JI and PPPP attended the sitting.
g.. No Member applied for leave.
h.. Four minority members attended the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness

a.. Nine out of the 15 starred questions about the Irrigation Department appearing on the agenda were taken up in the House. Seven of them were addressed by the representative of the relevant Minister. Three questions were put on hold on requests of the MPAs who had asked them. Twelve supplementary questions were also asked.
b.. One out of two bills on the agenda was taken up and deferred by the house. This was The Punjab Police Order Amendment Bill 2013. The Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Multan Bill 2013 was not taken up in the House.
Order and Institutionalization

a.. Legislators spoke on six Points of Orders consuming three minutes of the sitting.
b.. There were no protests/walkouts/boycotts.
Transparency

a.. Orders of the Day were available to the legislators, observers and others.
b.. Information on legislators’ attendance was not available to the observers and the public.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of Punjab Assembly proceedings conducted by PATTAN, a member organization of FAFEN