Glossary Print




Absolute Majority: more than half the votes of the total membership of the Assembly.

Abstain: to abstain from voting for or against a motion, while present in the House.

Act (of Provincial Assembly): bill having been passed by the Assembly, assented to by the Governor and published in Punjab Gazette.

Adjournment: to suspend proceedings to another time.

Adjournment Debate: the debate on an Adjournment Motion, if admitted by the House, for not more than two hours on a day fixed by the Speaker.

Adjournment Motion: a motion seeking to adjourn the routine business of the Assembly for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of recent and urgent public importance.

Adjournment of the House: termination of sitting of the House for the following or some later day.

Adjournment Sine Die: to suspend the proceedings without fixing a time or date for next meeting, usually culminating into prorogation.

Advocate General: Advocate General of the province who is entitled to sit in the House.

Agenda: the list of business to be brought before the Assembly for consideration and decision at its sitting on any day.

Allotment of Days: the Speaker has the authority to allot days for different stages of the budget process.

Amending Act: an Act of Assembly whose sole purpose is to alter existing Act(s).

Amendment: a motion to amend an earlier motion before that earlier motion is put to the Assembly for decision.

Assent: power of the Governor to validate a bill passed by the Assembly.

Ayes and Noes:Ayes is used for voting 'yes' and Noes for voting ‘no’ in the Assembly.

Backbenchers: the members other than Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Advisors and Special Assistants.

Bi-cameral: a Parliament consisting of two Houses; e.g. the national parliament of Pakistan is bi-cameral (Senate and National Assembly), while in provinces, it is unicameral.

Bill: a proposal for making a new law or amending an existing one.

Breach of Privilege: disregard of any of the rights and immunities of Members or Assembly/Parliament or of a Committee.

Budget: the statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government for a fiscal year which the government should lay before Assembly every year; Supplementary Budget is an expenditure statement regarding outgoing fiscal year to provide funds to the Government to meet new or additional expenses in a fiscal year.

Business: any matter which can be brought before the Assembly under the Constitution and the Rules.

By-elections: occurs when a seat in the Assembly becomes vacant during its tenure (i.e. between two general elections) due to death, resignation, unseating or disqualification of a member.

Cabinet: consists of Ministers, with the Chief Minister as its head, to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions.

Call Attention Notice: a notice through which a special question of public importance involving law and order may be raised.

Casting Vote: a deciding vote used by the Presiding Officer of the Assembly, when the votes on both sides are equal.

Chair: refers to the Presiding Officer at a meeting of the House or a Committee.

Chamber: the place where the Assembly meets to transact its business.

Chief Minister: chief executive of the Province and is a member elected by the majority of the total membership of the Assembly.

Class of Business: business of the House is classified as Government Business or Private Members’ Business.

Clause (of a bill): segment of a bill consisting of an individual sentence or statement, once a bill becomes law, its clauses are referred to as ‘section’.

Clause-by-Clause Consideration: a stage for consideration of a bill when amendments can be proposed in the clause of the Bill.

Closure: through a motion, a member requests the Speaker to close the debate and put the question.

Committee: group of members who are usually elected by the Assembly for special purpose or subject; there are following categories of committees in the Assembly.

  • Standing Committee is constituted for the tenure of the Assembly to aid the parent Assembly in discharge of its duties;

  • Select Committee is constituted to reconsider a Bill cleared by a Standing Committee;

  • Special Committee is constituted to deal with particular areas or issues.

Constituency: a constituency delimited for a seat of Provincial Assembly under the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974 (XXXIV of 1974).

Constituent: a registered voter in a constituency.

Constitution: the supreme law of the land (Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973).

Cut Motion: a motion moved by a member to reduce the amount of a demand for grant.

Debate: a discussion in which the arguments for or against a subject are presented in the House according to rules.

Demand for grants: a proposal made by Minster for Finance to the Provincial Assembly for withdrawal of certain sum out of Provincial Consolidated Fund for expenditure which are granted or deem to have been granted under Article 122 of the Constitution.

Dissolution: the termination of Assembly, either on the expiry of its five years term or otherwise in accordance with the provision of the Constitution.

Division: a mode of voting by dividing the members into two groups (ayes and noes) in order to reach a decision.

Division Bell: before a Division to take place, the Speaker shall direct that the division bells be rung to enable members not present in the chamber to return to their seats.

Election: the process of choosing a representative through vote.

Ex-Officio Member: refers to a person who, by virtue of an office or position held, is officially attached to a committee as a non-voting member.

Expunction: if the Speaker is of the opinion that the words used in debates are defamatory, indecent, un-parliamentary or un-dignified, he may order expunction of such words from debates, i.e. not to be included in the printed version.

Finance Bill: a bill which may be introduced at the time of presentation of budget to give effect to the financial proposals of the Government for the next financial year, and includes a bill to give effect to supplementary financial proposals for any period.

Fiscal Year: the twelve months period, from July 1 to June 30, used by the Government for budgetary and accounting purposes.

Floor of the House: the part of the Chamber reserved for the Members and the officials of the House.

Galleries: areas in the House set aside for the public, the press and distinguished visitors who wish to watch a sitting.

Gazette: the Punjab Gazette.

General discussion: a Minister or a member may give notice of a motion that any policy or situation may be discussed by the Assembly.

Guillotine: a provision in the rules which requires that the House reach a decision on a given matter by a particular date or at the end of a specified period of time.

House:see ‘Chamber’.

In-camera Sitting: a closed and private session of the Assembly or a Committee with a purpose to keep the proceedings secret.

Leader of House: the Chief Minister or a member designated by the Chief Minister to represent Government and regulate Government business in the Assembly.

Leader of Opposition: a member who is declared as such by the Speaker under Chapter IV-A of Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, 1997.

Legislation: the process of making a law.

Legislator: member of a legislature.

Legislature: a Assembly, or a Parliament with whatever nomenclature is known.

Limitation of Debate: whenever the debate on any motion in connection with a Bill or on any other motion becomes protracted, the Speaker may, after taking the sense of the Assembly, fix a time limit for the conclusion of discussion on any stage or all stages of the Bill or the motion, as the case may be.

List of Business: commonly known as agenda; a list of different kinds of business which may be taken up during a sitting.

Lobby: covered corridor immediately adjoining the chamber and conterminous with it.

Mace: a large, heavy and richly-ornamented staff which is the symbol of authority of the House; when the Speaker takes the Chair, the mace is placed on the table to signify the House is in session.

Member: a member of the Assembly and for purposes of moving or opposing a Bill, an amendment, a motion or a resolution, includes a Minister.

Member-in-Charge: in the case of Government Bill, a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary acting on behalf of the Government, and in the case of a Private Member’s Bill, the member who has introduced it or any other member authorized by him in writing to assume charge of the Bill in his absence.

Minister: a Provincial Minister appointed under Article 132 of the Constitution and includes the Chief Minister.

Minutes: the instant written record of a meeting.

Money Bill: a Bill or amendment which if enacted and brought into operation would involve expenditure from the Provincial Consolidated Fund or withdrawal from the Public Account of the Province; the money Bill or amendment, therefore, shall not be introduced or moved in the Provincial Assembly except by or with the consent of the Government.

Motion: a proposal made by a member relating to any matter which may be discussed by the Assembly.

Mover: the mover of a Bill, a resolution, a motion or an amendment of a Bill, a resolution or a motion and in the case of a Government Bill, a resolution, a motion or an amendment, a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary acting on behalf of the Government.

No Confidence Motion: a resolution for the removal of Chief Minister under Article 136 of the Constitution.

Oath of Office: a person elected to the House shall not sit or vote until he has made before the House oath in the form set out in the Third Schedule of the Constitution.

Opposition: the party or parties who do not belong to the governing party.

Out of Order: contrary to the rules of parliamentary procedure, the expression may be applied to motions, bills or to any intervention which runs contrary to the rules of the House.

Panel of Chairmen: at the commencement of a session, the Speaker nominate, in order of precedence, from amongst members a panel of not more than four Chairmen and in the absence of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the member having precedence amongst those present at the sitting takes the Chair.

Parliament: the parliament of Pakistan consists of the President of the Pakistan and two Houses to be known as the National Assembly and the Senate.

Parliamentary Calendar: a calendar for the proposed sessions of the Assembly during a Parliamentary year.

Parliamentary Secretary: a member appointed as such to assist the Minister in performing his or her functions.

Parliamentary Year: the year starting from the day of first meeting of the Assembly and is repeated likewise every year till its dissolution; the Assembly is required to meet for at least one hundred days during a Parliamentary Year.

Point of Order: a point raised in the House seeking interpretation or enforcement of the rules or such Articles of the Constitution as regulate the business of the Assembly and shall raise a question which is within the cognizance of the Speaker.

Portfolio: the area of responsibility or duties of a Minister in a Government.

Pre Budget Discussion: general discussion to be held in a session of the Assembly which is summoned during the months of January to March each year for seeking proposals of the Members for the next budget.

Preamble: an introductory paragraph of a bill in which the reasons for its introduction are set forth.

Precedent: a Speaker's ruling or a practice of the House taken as a rule for subsequent cases of similar nature, not all decisions and practices constitute precedent.

Precincts of the Assembly: the Assembly building, courtyard and gardens, Committee rooms and includes the hall, members’ lobbies, galleries, rooms of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, the Ministers and other offices of the Government located in the Assembly building, as well as the offices of the Assembly Secretariat and any other premises which are notified as such for a specified time by the Speaker in the Gazette.

Presiding Officer: in relation to a sitting of the Assembly, means any person who is presiding at that sitting.

Press Gallery: a gallery in the House reserved for accredited members of the media.

Private Member: a member who is not a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary.

Private Member's Bill: a proposed law introduced by a Private member.

Proceedings: the actions taken by the House or by a committee, the most important parts of the proceedings are the decisions that are taken.

Prorogation: termination of a session of Assembly.

Provincial Consolidated Fund and Public Account: all revenues received by the Government, all loans raised by that Government, and all moneys received by it in repayment or any loan, shall form part of a consolidated fund, to be known as the Provincial Consolidated Fund; all other moneys received by or on behalf of the Provincial Government or received by or deposited with the High Court or any other court established under the authority of the Province shall be credited to the Public Account of the Province.

Putting of the Question: question by the presiding officer to a vote.

Question: a parliamentary tool of oversight of the executive; a question may be asked for the purpose of obtaining information on a matter of public concern within the cognizance of the Minister to whom it is addressed; and is categorized as under:

    • Starred Question: a question for an oral answer.

  • Unstarred question: a question for a written answer.

  • Short Notice Question: a question regarding a matter of urgent public importance given with the consent of the concerned Minister.

  • Supplementary Question: when a starred question has been answered, any Member may ask such supplementary questions as may be necessary for elucidation of the answer.

Question Hour: the first hour of every routing sitting of the Assembly is reserved for asking and answering of the questions.

Question of Privilege: a member may raise a question involving a breach of privilege either of a member or of the Assembly or of a Committee.

Quorum: the minimum number of members of Assembly (1/4th of the total membership) necessary to conduct the business of the Assembly.

Quorum Call: to draw the attention of the Presiding Officer to the absence of a quorum.

Readings of Bill: the stage during the passage of a bill; there are a total of three readings as under:

    • First Reading: the principles of the Bill and its general provisions may be discussed but the details of the Bill are not discussed further than is necessary to explain its principles;

    • Second Reading: the Assembly considers a Bill clause by clause.

  • Third Reading: after voting on all the clauses of a Bill is completed, a motion is moved by the member/minister incharge of the Bill for its passage; the Assembly may pass the Bill by a majority of the members present and voting.

Referral to a Committee: committing a bill, a resolution, a question or any other matter to a Committee for study and report.

Report (of a Parliamentary Committee): a written or verbal statement by a Committee to the house about the matter referred to it giving the results of an inquiry, asking for additional powers or returning a bill after consideration, with or without amendments.

Requisitioned Session: a session summoned by the Speaker on a requisition signed by not less than one fourth of the total membership of the Assembly, i.e. 93 members.

Resolution: a motion for the purpose of discussing and expressing opinion on a matter of general public interest and includes a resolution specified in the Constitution.

Roll of Members: a Register which shall be signed in the presence of the Secretary by every member after making the oath.

Rules: the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997.

Ruling of the Chair: decisions by the Chair on any matter either on the floor of the House or in Speaker’s Chamber on a file, which shall be final and shall not be called in question.

Secret Sitting: see ‘in-camera sitting’.

Secretary: of the Assembly and includes any person for the time being performing the duties of the Secretary.

Sergeant at Arms: is an officer appointed by the Speaker to carry out his order in respect to keep order in the House.

Session: the period commencing on the day of the first sitting of the Assembly after having been summoned and ending on the day the Assembly is prorogued or dissolved.

Simple Majority: see ‘absolute majority’.

Sitting: a meeting of the Assembly or that of a Committee on a day.

Sub-Committee: a Committee may, with the approval of the Speaker, appoint a sub-committee, for a specified function arising out of the matter referred to the Committee.

Sub-judice: a matter under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from discussion elsewhere including the Assembly.

Table: the Table of the House on which documents are laid.

Whip: an informal office; refers to a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure the presence of the members of the party in the House.

Zero Hour: The last half an hour of a sitting is reserved for taking up matters of urgent public importance relating to the government and requiring intervention of the Assembly.