Local government: Criticism of new system undue, says Qaim

Published: September 24, 2012

“We’ll bring the bill in the assembly and it will be amended if positive changes are presented,” Shah told the media. PHOTO: FILE


The Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance, 2012 has been introduced for the welfare of the people of the province but nationalists are deliberately making the issue controversial, said Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Sunday.

“We’ll bring the bill in the assembly and it will be amended if positive changes are presented,” Shah told the media at the Chief Minister House after presiding over the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Sindh Council meeting.

The government has introduced a different kind of system as compared to the 1979 and 2001 systems. “In 1979, only Karachi was a metropolitan corporation. We have created five metropolitan corporations and all have the same powers,” he said.

In the 2001 system, several powers were devolved to the nazims. But this time, the mayors have been given only 22 basic functions, including sanitation, drainage, primary education and primary healthcare, according to “the PPP manifesto”.

“We evolved this system with continuous meetings of core committees for about three years and also consulted the law department during the process,” he said

Criticising the Sindhi nationalists, the chief minister said that they did not even read the ordinance and started opposing the new system. He advised them to read and justify at what level devolution had taken place. “See how much powers the provincial government has kept, but the nationalists allege that we have divided Sindh,” he added.

Without naming the party, Shah said that a coalition partner had asked the government not to end the commissionerate system in Sindh.

Monsoon 2012

The Sindh government spent Rs45 billion in the past three years for rain and flood related expenses, Shah said.

The family of every person who died during rains this year will be given Rs0.3 million by the Sindh government and Rs0.4 million by the federal government. The chief minister also announced that one of the victim’s family members will be given a government job.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2012.

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