The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed as many as 38 bills during its second parliamentary year that ended on May 28, 2015.
The house passed 30 bills the previous year, seeing a 26.6% increase in a year-on-year comparison. According to Assembly Secretariat statistics, two sessions were held over 100 days of proceedings in 2014-15. Starting May 28, 2014, a total of 44 bills were tabled this year. Out of the ones that were passed, the government presented 37 while one was a private member bill.
The treasury’s flagship legislative moves include the K-P Ehtesab Commission (Amendment) Bill 2014, K-P Protection of Communal Properties of Minorities Bill 2014 and the K-P Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2015. The Ehtesab legislation was in continuation of the ruling parties’ larger initiative of introducing accountability within the government’s folds. The house has continually been developing accountability laws over the past few terms. The former Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal government passed the Hasba Bill back in 2003 while the Awami National Party government tabled the K-P Provincial Ombudsman Act in 2013.
On the other hand, the recent and controversial K-P Universities (Amendment) Bill 2015 also gained widespread attention.
On the non-legislative end, as many as 102 resolutions were presented out of which 38 were passed. Thirty one resolutions were addressed to the federal government while seven to the provincial. Majority of the resolutions pertained to the home and tribal affairs as well as energy and power departments. As compared to the previous year, adopted resolutions also saw a 26.6% increase. Additionally, 26 privileged motions, 41 adjournment motions and 227 call to attention notices were moved.
Politicking largely remained active throughout the year. Since the formation of the tripartite alliance of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Peoples Party and Awami National Party, the opposition’s voice in the house became slightly more organised. Despite some testing times like the Islamabad sit-in days, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government largely sailed smooth throughout the parliamentary year.
As many as 826 questions were asked out of which 698 were admitted and 128 were not allowed. However, only 189 were answered. Lawmakers seemingly lost interest in debate in the second year since a staggering 1,874 questions were asked in the current assembly’s debut year 2013-14.
Meanwhile most of the asked questions were related to elementary and secondary education (102), health (66) and home and tribal affairs (62). The local government department was bothered 59 times while the labour and food departments were only questioned twice.
Following tradition, JUI-F once again led the line with the most vocal parliamentarians in the house. This time round, Hangu MPA Mufti Syed Janan finished first with as many as 105 questions. Additionally, he moved eight adjournment motions, two privileged motions and one call to attention motion. The same lawmaker had finished third last year with 15 questions, a privileged motion, two adjournment motions, a resolution and two call to attention notices.
He was followed by Buner MPA Mufti Fazal Ghafoor who asked 99 questions and moved one privileged as well as three adjournment motions. Ghafoor had tied with Janan last year for third position, asking 12 questions and tabling eight attention notices and a privileged motion.
The most active woman lawmaker was Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Sobia Shahid who raised 89 questions and moved a call to attention motion. She was followed by JUI-F’s Najma Shaheen who asked 50 questions and presented two call to attention motions. ANP’s Syed Jaffer Shah and Sardar Hussain Babak, PMN-N’s Sardar Aurangzeb Khan Nalotha, JUI-F’s Zareen Gul, Qaumi Watan Party’s Sikandar Khan Sherpao and Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli also remained vocal throughout the 100 days of proceedings.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2015.