KP assembly outranks others in legislation passage: PILDAT


ISLAMABAD, Aug 18 (APP): The Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has outranked other provincial assemblies in passage of legislation during second Parliamentary Year of its tenure.

“The KP Assembly has passed 59 laws in second year, followed by provincial assembly of the Punjab which passed 41 laws,” said a comparative
assessment report issued by PILDAT over performance of the country’s four provincial assemblies.

The provincial assembly of Sindh has passed 24 laws while the Balochistan assembly lags behind the other three by having passed only eight laws during second year, said a news release issued here on Tuesday.

Comparative analysis on passage of laws as seen in each provincial assembly showed that except Balochistan assembly, which has passed fewer bills than first year, there is an increase in legislative activity across other three assemblies.

When looking at total number of laws passed by each assembly during the two parliamentary years that concluded in August, KP assembly also leads ahead of other assemblies by 89 total laws passed in two years, followed by Punjab Assembly that has passed a total of 58 laws in two years.

Sindh Assembly has passed a total of 36 laws while Balochistan assembly has only passed 19 laws in total in two parliamentary years. Comparative analysis on legislative activity contrasts sharply with budget allocation to each assembly per member during the year.

Balochistan, which has passed the lowest number of laws in two years has the highest budget allocation per member at about Rs 23.1 million. Sindh assembly budget allocation per member stands at about Rs 13.6 million.

KP assembly budget allocation per member is a little under Rs 9.4 million, while Punjab assembly budget allocation per member stands at about Rs 5.1 million.

Compared to the first parliamentary year, each Provincial assembly has held fewer sittings during the second year compared to the first year, presumably because of coronavirus pandemic.

Sindh assembly leads in the second year by holding maximum number, 68 sittings, compared to other provincial assemblies. Its sittings, however, have decreased by 25 per cent.

It is followed closely by Punjab assembly that has met for 67 days during the second year, with a decrease of 13 per cent in sittings from first year. KP assembly ranks third by holding 52 sittings, with a decrease of 15 per cent from first year.

Balochistan assembly has met for only 33 days during the second year, with a decrease of 35 per cent from sittings in first year.

Combined total of sittings held by each assembly in two years also places Sindh assembly ahead of others by having held 159 sittings, followed by Punjab assembly that has met for 144 days in two years. KP assembly has held a total of 113 sittings in two years.

Balochistan assembly has again retained its trend of falling behind the other three assemblies by meeting just for 84 days in two parliamentary years.

A comparative analysis of time spent by each assembly per sitting showed that hours spent by each assembly per sitting do not vary much between assemblies. Rarely did a sitting held by an assembly last more than 2.5 hours on average.

That said, total number of working hours spent by each assembly during second year has also seen a decline from year one.

However, Sindh assembly led in terms of having spent most working hours, over 168, during the second year. Punjab assembly has spent a little over 140 hours in sessions during the second year.

KP assembly has met for a little over 113 hours during the year while Balochistan assembly has held sessions for a little over 111 hours.

Attendance of each Chief Minister in each assembly has declined considerably during second year. Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan, led others by attending 33 per cent sittings of Balochistan Assembly.

His attendance has decreased by 28 percentage points from 61 per cent in first year. Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, has attended 31 per cent sittings of Sindh Assembly with a decline of 10 percentage points from his attendance in assembly in first year.

At a distant third is Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar, Chief Minister Punjab, who has only attended seven per cent sittings of Punjab Assembly with a decline of nine percentage points from 16 per cent attendance in first year.

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr.Mahmood Khan, has only attended six per cent sittings of the KP Assembly, with a decline of nine percent points from his attendance in KP assembly during first year.

Leaders of the opposition in each provincial assembly have shown better interest in assembly proceedings than the chief ministers. Leader of the opposition in Balochistan assembly, he has attended the highest, 70 per cent sittings of the assembly, while leader of the opposition in the Punjab assembly, Hamza Shahbaz, has the lowest attendance of 10 per cent during the second year, which is also because he is in prison for the past many months.

No reform has not taken place in improving and strengthening budget process in the assemblies, days allocated for budget sessions have declined in every assembly except punjab assembly where the total days allocated for budget increased by a day to 13 from 12 days in first year.

In addition to the negligible time allotted in scrutiny of provincial budgets, provincial assemblies have also failed to pass a Public Finance Act which was passed as a Federal law in 2019.