PILDAT concerned at rising number of legislators failing to submit statements of assets and liabilities


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October 17; PILDAT has expressed concern at the record 29 % legislators failing to submit their statements of assets and liabilities by October 15 this year.

The number of Federal and Provincial legislators total 337 who failed to fulfil the legal requirement out of a total of 1174 legislators.

PILDAT noted that the percentage of legislators defaulting on this count had surpassed the record available for the past seven years: in 2015, 272 or 23 % legislators had defaulted on this important requirement; 210 or 18% did not submit the statements in time in 2014; 26 legislators were suspended in 2013 when the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had extended the deadline by a week; 154 or 13 % legislators were suspended in 2012 on this count and those suspended in 2010 were 141 or 12% of the total national and provincial legislators.

This year (2015-2016), KP Provincial Assembly tops the percentage of defaulting legislators as 49 or 39% KP MPAs failed to submit their statements by October 15; closely followed by the Punjab Assembly where 137 or 37 % members defaulted. Sindh Assembly did relatively better with 49 or 29 % members defaulting. National Assembly performance on this count was the best in a relative sense where 66 or 19% members defaulted. 21 % members defaulted in both Senate and Balochistan Assembly.

PILDAT has called upon the party leaders to hold their defaulting members accountable within their parties to avoid such embarrassing situation again. PILDAT noted that it is simply irresponsible and a non-serious attitude on the part of legislators which leads to such default on something which is a routine activity and which all legislators should be able to complete well before time. Such irresponsible behaviour on the part of elected representatives brings disrepute to the democratic process in the country, PILDAT added.

According to Section 42A of the Representation of the People Act, 1976, all members of the Senate, National Assembly and the four Provincial Assemblies are required to file their statements of assets and liabilities with the ECP by 30th September each year. The ECP is required to notify the suspension of the defaulting legislators by 15th October.