LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly’s 22nd session will start today (Friday) in its chamber with Acting Speaker Rana Mashood in the chair.The Punjab governor issued a notification in this regard on December 24 that read, “In exercise of the powers conferred on me under Article 109 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I, Salmaan Taseer, governor of Punjab, hereby summon the Punjab Assembly to meet on Friday, December 31 at 3pm in the Assembly Chambers, Lahore.”Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer is out of the country and according to the constitution, in his absence, the PA speaker performs the duties of acting constitutional head of the province, so the deputy speaker will head the provincial legislature. The Punjab Assembly Secretariat issued a notification declaring Deputy Speaker Rana Mashood as the acting speaker of the PA.This is the 22nd session of the current legislature since April 2008, and it will take up several political and provincial government administrative issues.
The assembly secretariat has scheduled 22 departments for Question Hour in the 21-days long session. The secretariat has issued a schedule for 26 days as the sittings will be for 18 days, while the eight remaining will be non-working days – Saturdays and Sundays. It is worth noting that a provincial legislature has to meet 100 days in a parliamentary year and the Punjab Assembly has met only for 55 days and 45 still remain. The schedule of the allocated departments for Question Hour is produced as, December 31, Friday, transport and tourism departments, January 3, Monday, Finance Department, January 4, Tuesday, Culture Department, January 5, Wednesday, Environment Protection Department, January 6, Thursday, Local Government and Community Development Department, January 7, Friday, Social Welfare Department, January 8 and 9 Saturday, Sunday, non-working days, January 10, Monday, Jail Department, January 11, Tuesday, Fisheries and Dairy Development Department, January 12, Wednesday, Information Department, January 13, Thursday, information technology and planning and development departments, January 14, Friday, law and parliamentary, prosecution and population welfare departments, January 15 and 16, Saturday, Sunday, non-working days, January 17, Monday, Schools Education Department, January 18, Tuesday, housing, urban development and public health engineering departments, January 19, Wednesday, Food Department, January 20, Thursday, Revenue and Colonies Department, January 21, Friday, Home Department, January 22 and 23 Saturday, Sunday, non-working days, January 24, Monday, Zakat and Ushr Department, January 25, Tuesday, Health Department. The business advisory of the House will also meet today, which will be attended by all parliamentary party heads, including Raja Riaz of the PPP, Rana Sanaullah of the PML-N, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin of the PML-Q, Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood of the PML-Functional and Noor Haider Niazi of the JUP-Noorani. The meeting will set the agenda of the coming days’ sittings – Dailytimes