LAHORE:  The 16th Provincial Assembly of Punjab relied heavily on legislation through ordinances as out of the total 137 government bills passed till date 64 were laid in the House in the form of ordinances.

The lawmakers showed little interest in introducing Private Members’ bills as only five such bills were introduced during the last three and half years. The Assembly is yet to pass these bills though 137 government bills sailed through the House dominated by the PML-N. 

According to FAFEN report, the concerned standing committees did not submit reports on four Private Members’ bills which is a sign of government’s reluctance to allow consideration of these bills. The 15th Punjab Assembly (2008 to 2013), however, passed one private bill out of total 22 introduced during its five-year tenure.

The standing committees also slowed down the pace of legislation taking longer than stipulated time to report on legislative proposals referred to them by the House. The committees are normally required to report on bills within 30 days, however, on average, each committee took 52 days to give its recommendations on a bill.

In addition, one of the committees took the longest duration of 272 days to report on the Punjab Drugs (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015. However, three bills which included the Punjab Local Government (First Amendment) Bill 2016, the Punjab Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Punjab Agriculture, Food And Drug Authority Bill, 2016 were passed in only two days.

Also, as many as seven government bills were passed without waiting for the recommendations of the committees. They related to human rights, governance judiciary and the issues of government employees.