Durrani rejects MQM's proposals on new LG system
18 August, 2012
KARACHI: While two major coalition partners, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were still busy in developing consensus on a draft of new local government (LG) system in Sindh, Provincial LG Minister Agha Siraj Durrani has straightforwardly rejected MQM's proposals on Friday.
Talking to media persons through phone, the PPP leader said that the MQM wanted to get shift all important departments, especially revenue, police, education and food to local governments, but we can not fulfill such a demand.
"What will remain with the provincial government behind if their demand is accepted," he remarked. According to him, it was not an easy task because for that the government would have to amend 1886 Act. He went on to say that how can local governments run these departments who are unable to pay salaries to their own employees.
The LG minister said that the PPP had agreed to assign tasks pertaining to basic health, primary education and other such functions to the local governments.
He said that the PPP had also proposed giving status of metropolitan corporations to the Karachi and Hyderabad, municipal corporations to other major towns, such as Sukkur, Larkana, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas.
His statement has come after a number of sessions the two parties have held to sort out the controversial points. It is more surprising because different government high ups, including, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Law Minister Ayaz Soomro had been informing the media that both the coalition partners had settled down major sections of the proposed new local government system.
The local governments minister's statement has also come during President Asif Ali Zardari's presence in the city. It may be recalled that President Zardari had recently asked both the parties to sort the issue at earliest.
'LG could not provide relief without assigning powers'
Deputy parliamentary leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Sindh Assembly and Provincial Information Technology Minister Raza Haroon said on Friday that the local government could not provide relief to people without assigning powers.
This he said while talking to media persons at an Iftar-dinner hosted by Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq in honour of Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at the Sindh Assembly building. He said that MQM had always supported devolution of powers at grass-root level.
Raza said that talks with Pakistan People's Party would continue on new local government system and any decision in this regard would be as per people's will. "The local government elections are need of the hour, which should be held at the earliest," he observed.