ISLAMABAD, December 14, 2012: The 3rd sitting of the ongoing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s 29th session was marked by the low attendance of the members as only 38 were present at the outset while 28 were there at the adjournment of the sitting.
The sitting, which met for an hour and 16 minutes, also witnessed ministerial absence. The relevant minister or the ministry’s officials were not present during the Question Hour.
Two resolutions were unanimously passed by the House. The first one was regarding the difficulties faced by locals due to closure of Lowari Tunnel, while the other was against natural gas being sold to Madaris and Masajids on commercial rates.
The Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker, and the parliamentary leaders of PMLN and PPPS did not attend the sitting.
The opposition parties – MMAP, PMLN and PML – staged a three-minute walkout against the comments made by the chair in the previous sitting.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The KP Assembly met for an hour and 16 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1724 hours against the scheduled time of 1600 hours. The proceedings started late by an hour and 24 minutes.
- The Speaker chaired the entire sitting. The Deputy Speaker was not present.
- The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting.
- The parliamentary leaders of the PPPP and PML were present while those of the PMLN and PPPS were not present.
- Thirty-eight members (31% of the total members -124) were present at the outset while 28 (23%) were there at the end of the sitting. A maximum of 51 were present at one point of the sitting.
- One minority member was present.
- Fifteen members applied for leave.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Four of the eight starred questions (requiring oral replies) appearing on the agenda were taken up and responded. Additionally, seven supplementary questions were asked. The relevant minister or the ministry officials were not present.
- Two calling attention notices about water pollution and termination of teachers in a KP district were taken up. The termination of teachers’ issue was referred to the relevant standing committee for further deliberation.
- The KPK Medical Transplantation Regulatory Authority Bill 2012 was introduced and sent to the relevant standing committee.
- Two resolutions were unanimously passed by the House. The first one was regarding the difficulties faced by locals due to closure of Lowari Tunnel, while the other was against natural gas being sold to Madaris and Masajids on commercial rates.
Order and Institutionalization
- Ten points of order were raised which consumed 19 minutes of the sitting time. None of the points of order attracted the chair’s formal ruling.
- The opposition parties – MMAP, PMLN and PML – staged a three-minute walkout against the comments made by the chair in the previous sitting.
- Orders of the Day were available to the legislators, observers and others.
- The members’ attendance was not made public.
- The quorum was visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting. However, it was not pointed out by any of the legislators.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of KP Assembly proceedings conducted by PAIMAN Alumni Trust, a member organization of FAFEN