Resolutions, not legislation, legacy of Sindh Assembly’s past three years | Pakistan Today

Resolutions, not legislation, legacy of Sindh Assembly’s past three years

KARACHI – While showing extraordinary consensus in passing resolutions, the Sindh Assembly could not show the same spirit in carrying out legislation during the past three years – ostensibly due to disagreements between the two major partners in the coalition government, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), reveal official figures released by Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro on Thursday.
Briefing journalists about the Sindh Assembly’s three-year performance at a press conference held at the Committee Room of the Sindh Assembly, Khuhro disclosed that 71 government bills were presented in the house but only 54 were passed. However, some 100 joint resolutions were moved, and all of them were adopted unanimously.
Out of those 54 bills that the house had passed, eight has still not become law because, according to Khuhro, these were “awaiting the Sindh governor’s assent”. The house must send each and every bill passed to the governor for assent as it is a constitutional requirement, but Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad had returned a few for revision.
Giving details about bills that the house could not pass, Khuhro said that six were referred to the house’s standing committees concerned for discussion, four were withdrawn, and six are still at the stage of consideration. The government initially presents bills in the house for introduction and later seeks consideration on them.
Sindh Assembly has to meet at least 100 days in a parliamentary year after passage of 18th Constitutional Amendment, and the house held 107 days proceedings during the last parliamentary year that ended on April 5. Previously, the house had to meet at least 70 days in a year. “The duration was extended so that the assemblies could make more and more legislation,” Khuhro remarked.
Sharing some achievements – most of which should perhaps be attributed to the Speaker – Khuhro said that for the first time, the house’s proceedings were telecast live. “We broke the past practice of keeping the common people away from their elected house,” Khuhro remarked. Another achievement was house proceedings starting on time.
Talking about private business, Khuhro said that some 23 bills were presented individually by members during three years but none of them could be passed as these remained on different stages. However, he added, some 29 resolution out of a total 798 moved by private members were passed. Two of them were sent to the house committees concerned and two others were withdrawn, he added.
Regarding questions asked by members during the three years, Speaker Khuhro said that a total of 5,565 questions were submitted and some 3,139 were raised in the house. According to the official record, very few members remained active throughout the tenure by more participating in the house proceedings. These included NPP’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi, PPP’s Humera Alwani, MQM’s Heer Sohu, and PML-F’s Nusrat Saher Abbasi.
The record shows that Jatoi submitted 990 questions, one privilege motion, 13 private bills, 15 resolutions, and 53 motions. Similarly, Sohu moved 993 questions, one adjournment motion, two private bills, and 28 motions. Alwani moved 551 questions, four bills, one adjournment motion, 152 resolutions, and 36 motions. Abbasi raised 632 questions, five adjournment motions, 55 resolutions, and 28 motions.
Generally some 84 members out of a total of 186 members participated in the house’s proceedings throughout the year. During the three years, two members – Raza Haider and Dr Partab – passed away and two others – Ram Singh Sodho and Stephen Asif Peter – resigned from their membership.
According to sources, every member of the Assembly gets Rs40,000 monthly salary, Rs40,000 travelling allowance per year, and development schemes worth Rs20 million annually as regular expenses. Plus, every member receives Rs900 to Rs2,000 daily on account of TA/ DA when the Assembly is in session.

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