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PILDAT Citizens’ Forum on Performance of the 15th Provincial Assembly & Recommendations of Reform

Speaker Punjab Assembly appreciates role of PILDAT; says Punjab Assembly Performance improved due to that

   
 
PILDAT Citizens' Forum
June 27, 2013
Lahore


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Urdu Version [PDF]
   

Lahore: June 27; Appreciating PILDAT contribution to strengthening the role of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, Honourable Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, MPA, said that the performance of the outgoing Punjab Assembly improved due to PILDAT’s contribution.

 
 

He was addressing the PILDAT Citizens Forum on Performance of the 15th Provincial Assembly of the Punjab and Recommendations for Reform to Strengthen the Assembly that was held today at Lahore.

 
 

Senator Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Senior Analyst, and Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, spoke at the Forum. MPAs belonging to different political parties, analysts and media persons joined the Forum in large numbers.

 
 

The Forum was held in the light of PILDAT Citizens Report on the 5-Year Performance of the 15th Provincial Assembly of the Punjab and Recommendations for Reform to Strengthen the Assembly. The report can be accessed in Urdu and in English languages online.

 
 

Speaking at the Forum, Senator Mohsin Leghari said that the members should have an in depth knowledge of the rules and must use the point of order properly. Point of order is generally misused and becomes point of disorder. He also stressed the need for making the committees more effective and called for an enhanced role of the committees in the provincial budget process.

 
 

Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Senior Analyst, said that the role of the committees is imperative in the oversight of the government and should be further strengthened. He demanded that the Chief Minister should be part of daily Question Hour. He also supported PILDAT’s proposal of introducing weekly CM Question Hour.

 
 

Presenting PILDAT’s analysis, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, President PILDAT, said that as per broad indicators of Punjab Assembly’s performance, in its 5-year term the Assembly met for 414 days in 45 sessions. However, these days are calculated by taking into account up to two non-working days. The actual number of work days for the 15th Provincial Assembly remained only 302 days in 5 years, or on the average about 60 days per year. If compared with the 14th Provincial Assembly of the Punjab (Nov 25 45%2 – Nov 18, 45%7) in which the Assembly had met for a total of 321 days in 31 sessions with the number of actual sittings being 227, the 15th Provincial Assembly of the Punjab shows an improvement of 24.8% in the number of days actually worked.

 
 

The 15th Assembly met for only 1037 hours and 44 minutes with average work day of 3 hours and 26 minutes. The Assembly clocked a total delay of 380 hours and 27 minutes in beginning its proceedings during its 5 year term with an average delay of 1 hour 15 minutes per sitting. Punctuality in the Assembly proceedings remained extremely poor throughout the term. Overwhelming 93 % sittings started with a delay of more than 10 minutes. The Assembly passed 133 Government Bills in 5 years and just 1 Private Member Bill. Compare this to the 19 Private members’ bills passed by the outgoing 13th National Assembly of Pakistan in its 5-year term (2008-2013) and it becomes apparent that very little attention has been given by the Treasury to accept and take on board useful ideas of legislation offered by private members bills.

Mr. Mehboob also outlined some key reforms that are needed to strengthen the role of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. These include empowering the Standing Committees, Strengthening the Budget Process, better research support for the Committees and MPAs, adherence to Parliamentary Calendar and introduction of Chief Minister’s question time, etc.

 
 

PILDAT received support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Pakistan office for holding the Citizens Forum publishing Citizens Reports.