Balochistan Assembly Passes Three Bills During 10th Session

Islamabad:,,, The Balochistan Assembly passed three tourism related bills, adopted three resolutions and took up as many questions during its 10th session, says the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) in its preliminary report issued on Friday.

Introduced in the second sitting, the House passed three government bills in the third sitting of the session – The Balochistan Tourists Guide Bill, 2014, The Balochistan Travel Agencies Bill 2014 and The Balochistan Hotel and Restaurants Bill 2014. These bills were passed as a result of the devolution of relevant subjects to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment and aimed at facilitating tourists, develop infrastructure and regulate the standard of services and amenities for tourists in hotels and restaurants. Additionally, six reports were also presented in the session.

Twenty-five lawmakers tabled six resolutions either singly or jointly of which the House adopted three. Tabled by members of PkMAP, an adopted resolution voiced concern over private Hajj tour operators and demanded inclusion of all Hajj applications from Balochistan in the government Hajj scheme. The other two adopted resolutions were on the loss of lives and property due to heavy rains in Lasbela and its adjoining areas, and the establishment of girls’ college and up-gradation of boys’ college in Duki.

Two resolutions not taken up by the House comprising lack of Balochistan Constabulary wing in Zhob, and a request to establish a new Chagai division composed of Chagai, Kharan, Warsak and Noshki due to heavy population for ease of administration. The House deferred one resolution regarding the lack of employment opportunities for Baloch youth at federal level.

In the first sitting of the session, the House conducted a general debate on electricity load-shedding in the province. However, a motion to debate health care priorities in the upcoming budget 2014-15 was not taken up.

Tabled by PkMAP lawmakers, the House disposed of a single adjournment motion regarding police harassment of Baloch students studying in Lahore. The House took up three out of 19 starred questions on the agenda. Additionally, legislators asked five supplementary questions.

In the first sitting of the session, the PkMAP Minister for Local Government walked out of the House for one hour and 51 minutes over prolonged load-shedding in the province. Legislators spoke on 36 points of order consuming 26% of the sessions’ total time.

The tenth session started on May 15, 2014 and adjourned on May 22, 2014 with an average sitting time of one hour and 50 minutes. On average, each sitting started 40 minutes behind schedule.

Low attendance was recorded during the session, as 35 members were present at the start of the sitting and 26 at the end, along with the presence of two minority members – on average. The parliamentary leader of the PkMAP was the most punctual, attending three sittings out of four whereas the leaders of the PML and MWM showed up once during the session. Those of the ANP, BNP, PML-N and BNP-A were absent from the proceedings. Due to low attendance, a JUI-F member pointed out quorum in the second sitting of the session, however, the Chair continued the proceedings without interruption.

The Speaker was present in all four sittings and chaired 60% of the session time, while the Deputy Speaker presided over 10% of the session. A Panel of Chairpersons presided over 28% of the session whereas the remaining 2% time was consumed in a single break. The Chief Minister was present for the 69% of the session’s time while his counterpart, the Leader of the Opposition, attended 37% of the session.

The Preliminary Report is based on direct observation of Balochistan Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development (CPD), a member organization of FAFEN

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