PA opposition knocked out on making ‘invalid’ parliamentary demand


LAHORE: Opposition in the Punjab Assembly (PA) was knocked out on Tuesday after it made an invalid parliamentary demand to the acting speaker to take up their resolution out of turn using his discretionary powers which was against the Rules of Procedure of the assembly.

Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed wanted tabling his resolution out of turn and tried to pressurise Deputy Speaker Sher Ali Gorchani through protest and uproar to take it up using his discretionary powers to avoid voting on it as per Rules of Procedure.

According to the Rules of Procedure, any out of turn resolution (which is not on the agenda) could only be entertained after getting a motion for suspension of Rules of Procedure under Rule 234 passed from the house with a majority.

The speaker does not have discretionary powers to take up any resolution directly when it is not on the agenda. However, the speaker or the chair has some powers to bring any resolution on the agenda before the session starts but not during the proceedings of the house. 

Most of the assembly members on opposition benches are new to the house and are not much familiar or conversant with parliamentary practices or rules and for that reason; they got embarrassment on the issue during Tuesday’s proceedings when they made an invalid demand which could have never been accommodated by the chair.

It was Private Members’ Day on Tuesday and five resolutions were on its agenda but two vital resolutions, including Mian Mehmoodur Rasheeed’s resolution about a demand to arrest accused involved in attempt to murder anchorperson Hamid Mir and Sadia Sohail Rana’s resolution to include agriculture into syllabus of education, could not be tabled due to 30-minute protest launched by the opposition.

A resolution tabled by Amir Sultan Cheema to revise pay scales of government employees was rejected while treasury member Shamila Aslam’s resolution to abolish all charges or fees on renewal or issuance of fresh identity cards was passed with a majority. The fifth resolution from Dr Waseem Akhtar is pending.

The PA session started one hour and five minutes late than scheduled time. Provincial Minister Abdul Waheed Arain answered queries about prisons and culture and information departments.

Dr Murad Ras, an opposition member, informed the house that the Lahore Development Authority was planning to commercialise the property of Walton Airport while it was a national heritage so it should not be used for any commercial purposes.

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