Sindh Assembly outranks other assemblies in holding sessions

Published August 10, 2019
According to a report, Sindh Assembly also leads other assemblies in terms of number of working hours. — APP/File
According to a report, Sindh Assembly also leads other assemblies in terms of number of working hours. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Sindh Assembly outranked all other provincial assemblies in holding sessions for most days during the first year after the 2018 elections.

According to an analysis carried out by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), the Sindh Assembly met for 91 working days during the first year followed by Punjab Assembly which met for 77 working days, KP Assembly which held its sessions for 61 working days and Balochistan Assembly having met for 51 working days.

The Sindh Assembly also leads other assemblies in terms of the number of working hours. It met for 303 hours during the first year with an average 3.20 hours per sitting. Compared to that, the provincial assembly of Punjab met for 172.31 hours, ranking second on total number of hours met. It met for an average of 2.14 hours per sitting.

According to a report, Sindh Assembly also leads other assemblies in terms of number of working hours

Balochistan Assembly ranks at number three for meeting 167.09 hours. It met for an average of 3.16 hours per sitting.

The KP Assembly ranks last for meeting 151.48 hours during the year. It met for an average of 2.29 hours per sitting.

The provincial assembly of Balochistan leads other assemblies in terms of presence and attendance of the chief ministers in assembly sessions and proceedings. Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan attended 31 out of 51 or 60.78pc sittings of the assembly.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was present in 37 out of 91 working days - 40.66pc - while Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar was part of only 12 out of 77 or 15.58pc sittings of the assembly.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan joined nine out of 61 or 14.75pc sittings of the assembly.

The Balochistan Assembly also leads other assemblies where Malik Sikandar Khan, leader of the opposition, attended 41 out of 51 or 80.39pc sittings of the assembly.

Syed Firdous Shamim Naqvi belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) attended 67 out of 91 or 73.62pc sittings of the assembly while KP ranks fourth in terms of attendance of sessions by the leader of the opposition.

Akram Khan Durrani belonging to MMA attended 44 sittings or 72.13pc of the sessions and therefore ranks third in provincial assemblies. The least number of sittings joined by a leader of the opposition in four provincial assemblies was by Mohammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif of the PML-N who attended 20 out of 77 sittings or 25.97pc sittings of the Punjab Assembly.

The KP Assembly ranks at top with most bills passed. It passed 30 bills followed by the Punjab Assembly with 17 legislations, Sindh 12 bills and Balochistan eight bills.

The KP assembly was also the first to form its standing committees after the general elections in Nov 2018.

The Punjab Assembly ranks second for forming its standing committees in Jan 2019. It took the Sindh Assembly a little over seven months to form its standing committees while the Balochistan Assembly maintained its tradition of most amount of delay though a close second to Sindh Assembly in forming its committees at the end of March 2019.

Out of the four provincial assemblies, only Punjab and KP transparently provided attendance figures of respective MPAs while both the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies did not provide figures on average attendance of their MPAs in the sessions.

Of the two assemblies providing figures on attendance of respective MPAs, KP leads in percentage of attendance of MPAs in the assembly sessions with 75pc attendance or an average of 93 MPAs attending the assembly sessions followed by Punjab where 57pc of the MPAs or 211.38 average attendance of MPAs in assembly sessions. The Punjab Assembly, however, attained the dubious distinction of non-transparency in introducing and passing a bill to increase the salaries of MPAs.

While all other proceedings, legislation and other details on performance of the assembly are available on the website of the assembly, the bill of increase in salaries of MPAs has not been made publicly available on the website.

The Sindh Assembly spent most number of days - 15 - and most number of hours - 70.45 - in the passage of the budget. It is followed by the Punjab Assembly which met for 12 sittings and 27.47 hours for the passage of the budget. Balochistan Assembly ranks third for allocating six working days and 26.56 working hours in scrutiny and passage of the budget.

The KP assembly ranks last in terms of hours spent in passage of provincial budget - 22.58 hours - though it ranks third with having spent eight days in discussion and passage of the budget.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2019

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