The president has prescribed a new administrative plan for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) under the name of Local Government Regulation 2012. This regulation — preceded by reforms in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) — is an extension of the Political Parties Act to the tribal areas.
Referred to as the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas Local Government Regulation 2012, it envisions the setting up of local municipal bodies in tribal areas.
With a sudden preference for digitalised discourse, a draft of the regulation has been quietly uploaded on the Fata Secretariat website soliciting suggestions in the form of comments or emails.
The date of implementation of the regulation has not been decided upon. The governor has been asked to indicate the deadline as per convenience. Furthermore, the governor has been allowed the flexibility of indicating different deadlines for different provisions of the regulation.
The draft seems to be a modified copy of the Khybe-Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2012 passed by the provincial assembly a few months back. It defines the local area as a ‘town’, and indicates that the governor can divide the local area into wards with a definite boundary for the purpose of elections.
Function of Local Councils
The local councils’ compulsory functions include monitoring sanitation, removal and dumping of refuse, latrines, public health, water supply, drainage, food and drink, livestock, public safety, municipal planning, building control, streets, traffic vehicles, arboriculture and sports and culture.
A local council’s annual budget will contain estimates of grants in aid from the governor, amounts available in local fund, receipts for next year and the expenditure to be incurred during next year. The chairman shall present a budget for consideration, which should be passed after being sanctioned by the majority. In addition to this, the governor may assign pre-audit functions to any agency and instruct the local government and rural development authorities to conduct special audits of area councils.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2012.
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