Punjab Assembly approves Finance Bill 2017 amidst opposition’s protest

Islamabad, June 13, 2017 (PPI-OT):The Punjab Assembly passed the provincial Finance Bill 2017 on Tuesday while the opposition protested against imposition of new taxes in the bill, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

Following are some key observations of the House proceedings during eighth sitting of 30th session:

Members’ Participation

The Punjab Assembly met for 51 minutes.

The sitting started at 1218 hours against the scheduled time 1100 hours.

The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Speaker was not present.

The Chief Minister did not attend the sitting.

The Leader of the Opposition attended the sitting for 36 minutes.

The Finance Minister attended the sitting for 46 minutes.

As many as 50 MPAs (13%) were present at outset and 95 (26%) at adjournment of the sitting.

The parliamentary leader of JI attended the sitting.

Four minority members were present.

Output

The House approved the Punjab Finance Bill 2017 without any amendment. Five lawmakers including the Finance Minister debated the bill for 17 minutes.

The Finance Minister laid the Schedule of Authorized Expenditure for the year 2017-2018 in the House.

The Minister for Law introduced the Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children (Amendment) Bill 2017 and the Punjab Education Standards Development Authority Bill 2017. The House referred both bills to the relevant committees.

Order and Institutionalization

The lawmakers spoke on four points of order consuming as many minutes of the proceedings.

Entire opposition staged a token walkout for six minutes against the imposition of new taxes in the Punjab Finance Bill 2017.

A PTI lawmaker pointed out quorum at 1254 hours; however, it was completed after ringing the bells for five minutes.

Transparency

‘Orders of the Day’ was available to the legislators, observers and public.

Information on Members’ attendance is available on Punjab Assembly’s website.

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