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LAHORE: Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat has said that Punjab's new local government system will play an important role in empowering the people at the grassroots level.

He expressed these views while addressing a seminar on Punjab Local Government Act 2019 in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday. Punjab Local Government Secretary Dr Ahmed Javed Qazi, members of Punjab Assembly, government officers and representatives of civil society were also present on the occasion.

The Minister further said that compared to the previous local government systems, this system reduces the power struggle between the federal, provincial and local representatives of the people. "In terms of revolutionary changes, it would be the first local government system in South Asia under which the people would directly elect a mayor in the style of London," he added. Basharat said that the government is making serious efforts to hold local bodies' elections as soon as possible.

Briefing about the Punjab Local Government Act 2019, the Local Government Secretary said that under the new system, every divisional headquarters is being made metropolitan; before only Lahore municipality had this status. "This will provide equal development opportunities to other cities," he added.

According to him, earlier the opposition was half represented in the Punjab Local Government Commission but in the new system equal representation has been given.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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