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February 14, 2018

Quorum mars PA session


February 14, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly’s session was wrapped up in a little over one hour amidst thin attendance because Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani started the session restively on time, as opposed to normal practice.

The session scheduled to start at 10am, started around only 12 minutes late. Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani chaired the session. The day was dedicated to the departments of Zakat & Ushr, Youth Affairs and Sports. The attendance was very low as the parliamentarians are used to the session starting over an hour late.

Due to the thin attendance, the question hour was a mere formality as majority of members whose questions were listed, had not showed up. In a point of order, Opposition Leader Mian Mahmud-ur-Rasheed lauded the Deputy Speaker’s step of starting the session on time and said that this should be made a regular practice to discipline members.

He said that parliamentary affairs is the most important job of elected representatives which is taken most casually that is why most members show up hours late while some don’t even show up at all.

Jamaat-e-Islami MPA of the opposition alliance Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar once again raised the issue of sugarcane farmers being exploited by mills owners. He said the farmers are being given fake CPR receipts while they are being paid less as the mill owners delay payments which forces the farmers to settle for lesser amount to get their money in time. Later, Opposition Leader Mian Mahmud-ur-Rasheed presented a resolution demanding immediate withdrawal of the increase in petroleum prices because the resultant inflation would lead to an unbearable load on the people.

The treasury benches however, argued that petroleum prices is a federal subject; therefore, the house cannot pass this resolution as it falls out of its jurisdiction. It was argued by the government benches that this matter should be taken up by opposition representatives in the National Assembly as that would lead to a more conclusive debate.

The resolution was rejected through majority vote which angered the Opposition benches and after slogan chanting and echoing hoopla in a near empty house, the opposition walked out over the rejection of this resolution.

The assembly proceedings continued, however, because the members whose resolutions were to be presented before the house were not present themselves. The agenda for the day was completed and the session was adjourned for Friday.

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