LAHORE: The Punjab government has started work on the preparation of a new local government law to revamp the existing local government system in Punjab.

A committee formed by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz to prepare the new law held a meeting on Friday which was chaired by Punjab Local Government Minister Zeeshan Rafique.

On this occasion, the committee proposed to introduce a town committee between the union council and the municipal committee, and to establish a metropolitan corporation for a population above 500,000 or each divisional headquarters; moreover, a union council should be established in a population of less than 15,000.

It also proposed to form a town committee for a population of 15,000 to 50,000, a municipal committee for a population of 50,000 to 200,000 and a municipal corporation for a population of 200,000 to 500,000.

During the meeting, it was also considered to fix the term of local bodies for four years. It was also recommended that local governments should be strengthened and a system of solving problems at the local level should be devised. Some members also suggested converting local bodies into administrative units.

While addressing the meeting, Punjab Local Government Minister Zeeshan Rafique expressed dissatisfaction over the Local Government Act 2022, as it made the whole province into one unit instead of devaluating powers in the true sense. He also observed that new local government demarcations were necessary after the new census.

œThe smaller the size of the local government, the more powers will be transferred to the lower level. The Chief Minister wants a long-lasting sanitation system in the villages as well, for this, the presence of a strong local government system was necessary,  he said.

Rafique assured the participants that the new law will be comprehensive and different from the previous one in all respects. He expressed his determination that he would give a local government system that truly delivers to the people.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Convener and Punjab Education Minister Rana Sikandar, Special Assistant to the Chief Minister Zeeshan Malik, the provincial legislators and senior officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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