—KP govt decides to reduce local body representatives
–PTI-led coalition govt in Punjab reluctant to replicate KP model
PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is considering a number of reforms in the local government system throughout Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces, Pakistan Today learnt
According to details, the KP government, led by the PTI, has decided to reduce the number of local government representatives from 44,000 to 24,000.
Reducing the number of representatives is a part of the reforms that would soon be introduced for strengthening local government system in the province, sources said.
Besides, the KP government has also decided to wrap up a few companies, including the Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar.
It has planned to bring Peshawar Development Authority as well as similar authorities in Kohat, Swat, Mardan, Karak, and Mansehra under the subordination of district nazim. The police will also serve under the nazim, they added.
A number of officials in the local government department said that a working group has prepared a plan and the group will soon brief Prime Minister Imran Khan.
It is also learnt that the PTI has started consultation with other provinces for the implementation of LG system of KP in other provinces. PM Khan was brief recently regarding local government systems of Punjab and other provinces.
PUNJAB CM’S RELUCTANCE:
However, it faced resistance from legislators in Punjab. The chief minister in Punjab, in particular, opposed the idea, saying that it would be difficult to implement the LG system of KP in Punjab. However, the Punjab government has sought time from the prime minister, the officials told Pakistan Today on the condition of anonymity.
The chief minister reportedly said that eight to 10 per cent of the development budget is given to the local government representatives while in KP, they get 30pc share. The provincial government showed reluctance to give 30pc budget to the local government representatives while it has expressed reservations over the village and neighbourhood councils.
The officials said that the government wants to abolish tehsil councils and strengthen district and village councils. For this purpose, a proposal in under consideration which reducing number of councilors.
NEW LG PROPOSAL:
The government has also proposed an amendment in the KP Local Government Act 2013 and the prime minister has given the provincial government one-week time.
It includes direct election of mayor and deputy mayor of districts, strengthening of village and neighbourhood councils, abolition of either district or tehsil council and decision in this regard would be taken within a couple of days.
If tehsil councils are abolished, its funds and powers would be divided among village and neighbourhood.
It is also decided that there should be a uniform local government system in Punjab, KP and Balochistan, however, every province would have the final authority to bring changes as per their needs.
It was also decided that the working groups would be formed for every province that would be tasked to submit recommendations within a week.
Each group would brief the prime minister after which a final decision would be taken.
The PTI government is set to introduce a two-tier local government system in three provinces, including Punjab, with mayors to be given considerable resources and powers at their disposal, a local media outlet reported.
The final decision on the matter will be taken by PM Khan. Punjab has also proposed to eliminate tehsil councils altogether.
One-third of the provinces’ annual development budget will be given to local councils, according to the plans.