LAHORE - Punjab Assembly will now have a three-day week from coming Friday. There will be only three sittings of the Assembly in a week but the lawmakers will be paid for seven days.

Not only this, the four off-days in a week will also be counted towards the mandatory 100 days for which the Assembly has to be in session during a year. 

This arrangement has been agreed upon between the Treasury and the Opposition for the current session, but it is likely to continue till the present Assembly completes its five-year term in June this year.

The reason: either the Assembly has run short of official business in the last Parliamentary year; or the authorities think that the lawmakers will perform at their best if they work only for three days in a week. Whatever the rationale behind this decision, the lawmakers will have more time to spend in their respective constituencies ahead of the coming elections. 

Under the new arrangement, unprecedented though, the Punjab Assembly will meet on Monday, Tuesday and Friday with four weekly offs.

It was private members day at the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday, but the House completed its entire agenda in just 45 minutes. 12th sitting of the 34th session was conspicuous by the presence of only 15 legislators at the outset and only 10 at the time of adjournment.

It may be recalled here that Monday’s sitting had lasted only for 15 minutes due to thin attendance of members.

Five resolutions of public interest and questions on the departments of Zakat& Usher and Sports were on the day’s agenda on Tuesday.

Seventy per cent of the questions were disposed of due to absence of the movers as only three out of nine questions were taken up for answers though the lawmakers also asked eight supplementary questions.

Likewise, four out of five resolutions could not be taken up also for the same reason. The movers were absent from the House.

The Assembly, however, rejected a resolution seeking withdrawal of the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products with majority vote on the plea that it was a Federal subject. It was moved by Leader of the Opposition, Mian Mahmoodur Rashid who was not ready to accept a proposal coming from the Treasury side to move it a fresh with necessary amendment.

Upon this, the Opposition Leader led a walk out from the Assembly as a token of protest.

Deputy Speaker, Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani who presided over the entire sitting, adjourned the House till Friday morning at 9am.