Punjab Assembly continues budget discussion

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Lahore: Twelve lawmakers participated in the general discussion on the annual budget 2017-18 amidst lack of quorum and walkouts by treasury and opposition lawmakers on Tuesday, observes Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).

The Punjab Assembly met for two hours and 52 minutes while the proceedings remained suspended for an hour and four minutes. The sitting started at 1136 hours against the scheduled time 1100 hours.

The Deputy Speaker presided over the entire sitting while the Speaker was not present. The Chief Minister and the Leader of the Opposition did not attend the sitting. The Finance Minister attended the sitting for an hour and 36 minutes

As many as 20 MPAs (5%) were present at outset and 40 (11%) at adjournment of the sitting. The parliamentary leaders of JI and PML-Z attended the sitting. Seven minority members were present.

Twelve lawmakers – 11 of PML-N and one of PTI – took part in the general discussion on the budget 2017-18. The discussion continued for an hour and nine minutes.

Two PTI lawmakers pointed out quorum at 1143 and 1406 hours. The proceedings remained suspended for an hour and four minutes on first instance while the quorum was completed after ringing bells for five minutes on second occasion.

Two PML-N lawmakers staged walkouts over Chair’s refusal to grant them extra time for their speeches on budget. A lawmaker returned after ten minutes while the other did not return to the proceedings till adjournment of the sitting.

Entire opposition protested on floor of the House for three minutes against interruptions from treasury benches during the speech of a PTI lawmaker. Later, the opposition lawmakers walked out from proceedings at 1406 hours and did not return till adjournment.

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