- Information minister regrets system established in Punjab and Sindh in the past were not fully empowered as the funds were not transferred to them
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that an empowered Local Government (LG) system is essential to addressing the problems being faced by the people at the grassroots level, Radio Pakistan reported.
Addressing a National Conference on the Future of Local Government in Islamabad on Tuesday, Fawad said that the LG is a futuristic system and also a demand of the Constitution. "Every person having political sagacity should endeavour for the establishment of the LG system," he stated.
The minister regretted that the LG systems established in Punjab and Sindh in the past were not fully empowered as the funds were not transferred to them.
Fawad pointed out that under the 18th Amendment, powers were devolved to the provinces but these were not further transferred to the local bodies. He said the local bodies are important to improve the governance system.
ECP urges provinces to hold LG polls
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also repeatedly urged provinces and federal government to play their critical role in holding elections but no one has shown any enthusiasm to hold the LG polls and are using delaying tactics in this regard.
Earlier this year, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suggested to the ECP to hold local government elections this year. Punjab recommended September while KP recommended October.
However, later, both provinces backtracked citing the alarming spread of coronavirus across the country.
SC orders restoration of LG system
Earlier in March, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered the restoration of local government institutions in the province after declaring their dissolution as unconstitutional.
A three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, had taken up a petition moved by Asad Ali Khan through his counsel Mohammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada challenging the dissolution of the local government (LG) institutions with a plea that the elected members were entitled to complete their constitutional term that will expire on December 31, 2021.
In light of the SC verdict, the PML-N demanded the government to restore the local government in the province.
The PML-N lawmakers warned the PTI-led government against committing contempt of court by not restoring the local government. They said 58,000 elected representatives of the people were inactive for the last two years as the government had neither introduced a new local body system nor did it allow the previous one to work.