Lahore:Provincial cabinet gave approval to the draft law of Punjab Local Government Act 2012.Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over the Cabnit meeting.The meeting also granted approval to the setting up of building control authorities at the divisional level to check the incidents resulting from dangerous and dilapidated buildings. The offices of these authorities will also be set up at district and tehsil levels. The meeting decided that the youth will be given full representation in the new local government system. The performance report of Punjab Public Service Commission for the year 2010-11 and the annual report of Punjab Pension Fund were also discussed in the meeting.
Addressing the cabinet, the Chief Minister said that local bodies institutions are considered as nurseries of democracy the world over which nourish democratic leadership and thereby strengthen democratic traditions through public representatives at the basic level. He said that Punjab government will introduce such a local government system as will be in line with the demands of the modern age as well as aspirations of the masses for the promotion of democratic process. He said that in order to give effective representation to the young generation in decision-making process, five percent quota will be allocated for the youth while 33 percent seats will be reserved for women under the new local government system. Similarly, he said, special seats will be reserved for minorities and farmers as well as workers in local bodies institutions for giving due representation to all segments of the society. The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the new local government setup will provide an opportunity to the youth to display their talent and abilities under the democratic system. He said that Punjab will be the first province to have special quota for the youth in local bodies. He said that transparency, merit and good governance are the priorities of Punjab government and an effective system of accountability will also be adopted for the new local bodies system for ensuring transparent utilization of every penny of public money. He said that the tenure of four years has been proposed for local bodies institutions under the new local bodies system while the provincial government will have the right of special audit of these institutions.
Referring to the building control in the province, the Chief Minister directed that a unified system should be evolved to eliminate overlapping in the powers of development authorities and town municipal administration in this regard. He said that development authorities will be responsible for building control in their notified areas. Punjab government has sent the draft of Punjab Building Control & Housing Authority Bill to law department for scrutiny. He said that commissioners will be the chairmen of these authorities at the divisional level while the Chief Executive Officer of the authority will act as its secretary/ member. Sub-offices of these authorities will also be established at the district and tehsil levels. He said that development authorities will be responsible for dealing with the matters relating to building control, management of housing schemes, implementation of relevant laws and other issues. He said that establishment of the authorities is necessary to check the tragic incidents like Kharak. He said that the process of inspection of industrial institutions should be outsourced and immediate replacement of substandard boilers of factories should be ensured so as to protect the lives of the workers.
Appreciating the performance of Punjab Public Service Commission, the Chief Minister said that the measures taken by the government have encouraged talented and hardworking candidates. Granting approval to the construction of the new building of PPSC, he said that this institution has displayed commendable performance regarding implementation of the merit policy. He lauded the role of Director Information Technology in making PPSC system online and said that a policy be devised for encouraging officers and staff showing the best performance in all institutions for promoting competitive spirit for the benefit of the masses. Chairman PPSC while presenting annual performance report of the institution informed that three lakh, ten thousand and 333 applications were processed during 2011, twenty one thousand candidates were interviewed while recommendations were made for recruitment against more than five thousand six hundred vacancies. He said that PPSC has made the entire examination system online while remaining within its limited resources which will save 80 lakh rupees annually. Secretary Industries, Secretary Local Government and Secretary Housing briefed the cabinet regarding building control, shifting of industrial units from the city and overlapping of the powers of development authorities. Secretary Industries informed that the survey of industrial units within city limits is speedily in progress. He said that Punjab Boilers & Pressure Vessels Act 2012 will be presented in the next cabinet meeting. The law will provide necessary legal mechanism for checking the incidents resulting from industrial boilers. Secretary Finance presented the annual report of Punjab Pension Fund.
The Chief Minister congratulated minority member Rana Asif Mehmood on assuming the office of Provincial Finance Minister and expressed the hope that he will perform his responsibilities efficiently.