Quorum issue and delegates self-service

Written by The Frontier Post

The quorum issue persisted in most of the meetings of the National Assembly during recent days. According to reports, due to a quorum issue, several meetings were adjourned after leaving most of the agenda unaddressed. As reported, the proceedings of the House started on Wednesday with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar in Chair. As per rules of procedure and conduct of business in the National Assembly, the question hour was being observed during the first hour of the sitting when a PML-N lawmaker Murtaza Abbassi pointed out the quorum. Out of the four sittings of the ongoing 36th Session, it was the second sitting which faced quorum issue and was adjourned subsequently. According to reports, the house did not take up five important constitutional amendment bills, few ordinances, and several other important business motions due to a quorum issue in the meeting on Wednesday.

The lower house of the parliament consists of 342 lawmakers from four provinces including newly merged districts of Ex. FATA. According to clause -2 of article 55 of the constitution of Pakistan, presence of one fourth members of the house is essential to conduct the session of the house and in case of nonavailability of required numbers the meeting can be adjourned by the chairperson. According to FAFEN Pakistan, National Assembly of Pakistan held 28 sessions or 198 sittings during PTI government from 13 August 2018 to 4 February 2021, during which the issue of quorum was pointed out 46 times while 31 sessions were adjourned due to lack of quorum.

In fact, the government of Pakistan pays monthly honorarium to its honorable lawmakers for their services to the country along with a bulk of allowances in the heads of medical, travel, boarding, lodging and other necessities during their visit to the capital to attend the sessions of the house. However, the presence of the lawmakers never touched 100% throughout the year except during voting on motion of no confidence. The poor masses elect their representatives hoping for some positive contribution for the well-being of the public, but apparently honorable public agents are busy in their self-service only.

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The Frontier Post

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