Thursday November 30, 2023

Pildat on five-year performance of provincial assemblies: KP Assembly outperforms in transparency, access to information

By Our Correspondent
September 22, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly outranked all other provincial assemblies in terms of transparency and access to information during the last five-year term from 2018 to 2023.

These are the findings of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT)’s comparative analysis on the performance of four provincial assemblies.

Parliamentary transparency in general and legislative transparency in particular have been shrinking in Pakistan’s provincial assemblies since 2018. Limited access of legislative proceedings of provincial assemblies to citizens violates the basic principle of transparency and in turn promotes lack of public trust in these assemblies, stated the PILDAT.

In terms of status of transparency and access to information by four provincial assemblies, KP Assembly outranked other assemblies with a score of 8.5 out of 11. This was the only assembly, which provided the live telecast of assembly proceedings.

Out of four provincial assemblies, only the Punjab Assembly has provided complete attendance records of MPAs on its website.

The Punjab Assembly has ranked second with a score of 7 out of 11 when compared with other assemblies.

Balochistan Assembly ranked third by securing 6.5 score out of 11 while the Sindh Assembly is providing the least information on its website and ranked at last number with 5.5 score.

Sindh Assembly outranked other three provincial assemblies in terms of sittings held during five-years of its term as it convened 326 sittings with an average of 65 sittings per year. Punjab Assembly met for 274 days with an average of 62 sittings per year during its 4 years and 5 months tenure.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly held 248 sittings with an average of 56 sittings per year. Lowest number of sittings (241), with an average of 48 sittings per year were convened by the Balochistan Assembly in five-year.

Sindh Assembly was convened for most working hours, i.e., 921 hours with an average of 184 hours and 20 minutes per year during five years of its term. Balochistan Assembly was convened for 581 hours and 18 minutes with an average of 116 hours per year.

The KP Assembly met for 574 hours and 27 minutes with an average of 130 hours per year. Punjab Assembly was convened for 530 hours and 47 minutes with an average of 120 hours and 12 minutes per year.

Balochistan Assembly outperformed in terms of attendance of chief ministers who have attended highest percentage (31 percent) of sittings of the Balochistan Assembly during five years term.

Former CM Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah attended 26 percent sittings of the Sindh Assembly. Chief Ministers of Punjab attended only 14 percent sittings.

The lowest attendance of any of the four chief ministers was by Chief Minister KP, Mahmood Khan, who attended only 8 percent sittings during his tenure of 4 years and 5 months.

Balochistan Assembly also ranked at top as the Leader of the Opposition in the Balochistan Assembly, Malik Sikandar Khan attended 63 percent sittings during five parliamentary years.

He was followed by Leaders of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly who attended 56 percent sittings. Akram Khan Durrani, Leader of the Opposition in KP Assembly attended 38 percent sittings.

The lowest attendance was witnessed by Leaders of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly who attended only 12 percent sittings.

Even though, KP Assembly was dissolved seven months earlier than its actual term, during its 4 years and 5 months tenure, it passed highest number of average bills (188 bills) with an average of 43 bills passed per year.

It was followed by Punjab Assembly, which passed 180 bills with an average of 41 bills per year.

Sindh Assembly passed 149 bills with an average of 30 bills per year. Balochistan Assembly passed only 96 bills with an average of 19 bills per year, which is the lowest number of bills passed among the four assemblies.

On average, the Punjab Assembly spent the highest 11 days in budget sessions per year and Sindh Assembly spent 9 days per year in its budget sessions. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies spent only 8 and 7 days respectively which are the least number of days spent per year in budget sessions.