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Imran Khan approved Punjab new local government system

11 April, 2019

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday approved the draft of Punjab’s new local government system. Chairing the provincial parliamentary party meeting here, during which the secretary local government gave a briefing on the proposed local government system, the prime minister said keeping in view the past experiences about local governments, a well-coordinated and comprehensive system is being introduced in Punjab which will bring about a revolutionary change in the style of governance.

The prime minister said the local government system introduced by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which also won full confidence of people in the province, has brought about significant improvement in the areas of health, education and law and order. He said a new approach will emerge through the proposed local government system in Punjab, which besides truly empowering the common man through the devolution of power to the lower tiers, will also help resolve the local problems in a quick and transparent manner and make the sustainable development possible. The prime minister said since improvement cannot be expected without correcting the urban system, the new local government system will bring in positive change in real terms.

He further said an unprecedented, detailed and comprehensive poverty alleviation program introduced by the PTI government will have far-reaching results. The prime minister on this occasion also directed to ensure that the wheat growers in Punjab get appropriate price of their produce, adding that all irregularities in this respect should be eliminated. He also directed to take special measures to curb inflation and price-hike during the holy month of Ramazan.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the proposed new local government system, which will empower the elected representatives at tehsil and rural levels to help achieve development at lower tiers due to appropriate availability of funds through devolution of political, administrative and financial powers. The meeting was told that under the new system, urban and rural areas will have separate local governments, whereas a system would also be introduced at village and punchayat level. Under the new local government system, neighbourhood councils will be established besides raising the number of metropolitan and municipal corporations in urban areas. Regarding election of local governments, it was told that elections of tehsil councilors will be held on party basis, whereas elections of neighbourhood councils and punchayats will be held on non-party basis.

Besides the direct provision of funds to the local governments at all levels, additional funds will also be provided under the new local government system. The meeting was briefed about the progress on legislation of the new local government system and the schedule of the elections.

The members of provincial assembly hailed the prime minister for introducing the new local government system in Punjab and reposed their full confidence in his leadership. They said the establishment of new local governments at tehsil and punchayat levels was a courageous decision which will benefit the common man and help resolve the problems of masses at the local level. Later addressing a press conference, Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja said the new system will transfer financial resources directly to the public representatives who will be authorised to utilize them according to their needs and demands of their areas.Talking about the structure of the new system at the rural level, he said that tehsil councils and punchayat will be introduced against district council and union councils of the previous system. Similarly, metropolitan corporations and municipal corporations will perform at the division and tehsil levels.

He said that 22,000 punchayats will replace 3,100 UCs in the new system and added that this will broaden the scope of public representation. Funds worth Rs 40 billion will be directly transferred to the system.

The minister said that public representatives belonging to religious minorities will also get an opportunity to perform as the head of local government in areas where they are in majority. “It is our effort that the new system is implemented as soon as possible so that the previous system comes to an end,” he said.

Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan met the families of the victims of shooting incident that took place in Sahiwal in January last and distributed compensation cheques among them.

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