Lahore : The new local bodies system in the province of Punjab will depict the public emotions and aspirations as well as a tool of transferring the powers at the grassroots in the real sense. The vision and guidance of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar are considered at every phase of its drafting and preparation.
This was stated by Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Local Government Muhammad Basharat Raja while addressing a press conference at 90-SQA here on Wednesday.
Basharat Raja said that Punjab government has started taking practical measures for implementing an important part of PTI manifesto under the leadership of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and draft of the proposed local bodies’ law has been presented to the Prime Minister today. While giving detail of salient features of the new local bodies’ law, he said that this law will transfer financial resources directly to the public representatives who will be empowered to utilize them according to their needs and demands of their areas.
He said that new local bodies system will ensure transparency, accountability and sustainable development across the province and a two-tier administrative infrastructure will be introduced in it.
At the rural level, Tehsil Councils and Panchayat will be introduced in place of the District Council and Union Councils of the previous system and Neighborhood Council could be the lowest tier of local bodies unit in the urban areas.
Similarly, Metropolitan Corporations and Municipal Corporations will perform at divisional and Tehsil levels. He said that 22 thousand Panchayat will replace 3100 Union Councils in the new system and added that this would broaden the scope of public representation. Funds to the tune of 40 billion rupees will be directly transferred to them.
The Minister said that public representatives belonging to religious minorities will also get an opportunity to perform as the head of local bodies in areas where they are in the majority.
He said that elections of Panchayat and Neighborhood Council would be held on a non-party basis while the local bodies’ elections will be direct and party-based. “It is our effort that the new system should be implemented as soon as possible and this would bring an end to the previous system”.
He said that staff of local bodies system would be trained in the interim period so that they could run the new system in an efficient manner and serve the people in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. While replying to the questions of the media, Basharat Raja said that notification regarding departments of parliamentary secretaries will be issued soon.