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Legislative Procedure

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PROCEDURE OF LEGISLATION IN THE ASSEMBLY

Bill

A proposal to make or amend a law is brought before the Assembly in the form of a Bill i.e. the proposed draft law. A Bill is, in fact, a motion to make a law. A notice of a Bill must contain a statement of objects and reasons; however, no such statement is required in the case of an Ordinance laid in the Assembly. A Bill with respect to any matter within the Provincial legislative field may, subject to the rules, be introduced in the Assembly.

Introduction of a Bill

On introduction, a bill is published in the official Gazette, and the Speaker refers it to the Standing Committee concerned, with the direction to submit its report by a specified date. However, the Finance Bill is not referred to any Committee. When the report of the Standing Committee on a Bill has been received, the Bill may be taken into consideration at once or it may be referred to a Select Committee or it may be circulated for eliciting opinion thereon. The Assembly considers the Bill in three stages, normally called the three readings of the Bill.

First Reading of the Bill

On the day fixed for consideration of the Bill, 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. At this stage, the Assembly is required to decide whether or not it wishes to consider the Bill further.

Second Reading of the Bill

At this stage, the Assembly considers a Bill clause by clause. At this stage any member may propose such amendments to the Bill as are within the scope and relevant to the subject matter of the Bill. Each clause is put to the vote of the Assembly.

Third Reading of the Bill

After the Assembly has completed the second stage of a Bill and has voted in respect of all the clauses of a Bill, a motion is moved by the member/minister concerned that the Bill be passed. The Assembly may pass the Bill by a majority of the members present and voting.

Assent and Publication

A bill passed by the Assembly is submitted to the Governor for assent. When a Bill is assented to by the Governor, the Assembly Secretariat publishes it in the official Gazette as an Act of the Assembly.

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