PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has again invited the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leadership for talks and formed an advisory committee of the members of the parliament from the merged districts of the seven tribal areas.
A handout from the CM house stated that Chief Minister Mahmood has offered dialogue to the PTM leadership for the second time and four members committee would be in regular contact with the leadership of the movement.
The statement said that a meeting of the advisory committee held a meeting with CM and tabled their suggestion and report to the CM.
The committee members said that despite invitation and personal contacts, the PTM leadership did not respond to the calls for talks.
In the meeting it was decided in principle that the PTM leadership would be contacted again for the redressal of issues.
The advisory committee included of MNAs Jamal Uddin, Muneer Orakzai, Sajjid Turi, Iqbal Afridi.
The committee members have said that they would like to sort out the issues with PTM in more peaceful and democratic manner.
LG Ammendment Bill 2019
K-P cabinet approved LG Amendment Bill 2019 on Thursday.
“The whole province will have a uniform local government system,” Chief Minister Mahmood said at the provincial cabinet meeting.
After the Cabinet meeting, Provincial Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai and Minister Information Shaukat Yousafzai in a joint press Conference highlighted salient features of the new Local Government System before media.
Shahram Khan Tarakai said that in the new Local Government System, it has been proposed to abolish the posts of District Council and District Nazim and the new system in Rural and Urban areas would consist of two tiers system of Tehsil and City Local Government and Village and Neighbourhood Council. Under the new Amendment Bill 2019, the title of Nazim and Naib Nazim have been changed to Chairman and Convener. In all divisional headquarters, City Local Government would be established and its head will be called Mayor.
He said the elections of Chairman Tehsil Council and Mayor City Local Government would be held on party basis while the elections of Village and Neighbourhood will be held on non-party basis. Similarly Tehsil Chairman and Mayor City Local Government would be elected through direct elections. Tarakai said that in the Village and Neighbourhood Councils, 33% Woman, 5% Youth and minorities quota has been kept intact.
The numbers of the village and Neighbourhood Council members has been made six to seven which was 10 to 15 earlier. About devolvement of departments to the gross root level, the minister said that departments of Primary & Secondary Education, Social Welfare, Public Health Engineering, Sports, Culture, Youth Affairs, Livestock, Population, Water & Sanitation and Rural Development would be under the Tehsil Chairmen and Mayor City Local Government.
K-P Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said that under the new Local Government Amendment Bill, Local Government Finance Commission would be formed, where in the number of Tehsil Chairmen has been increased from two to five, whose elections would be made from the concerned five zones of the province.
He said for the eradication of corruption, the financial accounts of new Local Government System would be computerized. Similarly, besides District Accounts officers, the provincial Government could do audit of Local Governments itself or through third party. Tarakai said the Tehsil Council could give approval of budget through simple majority while the Local Governments would be provided 30% of provincial development budget.
Regarding impeachment of Tehsil Chairman and Mayor, Tarakai said two-third majority of the house on an impeachment motion could remove Tehsil Council Chairman and Mayor City Local Government, however reasonable facts have to be provided to Local Government Commission for impeachment.
Tarakai further said that Peshawar would consist of two City Local Governments and three Tehsil Governments. The proposed Amendment Bill would be presented before the Provincial Assembly in next week.
Addressing the meeting, CM Mahmood directed to recruit grade-seven and above employees through NTS and other Testing Agencies and uphold merit in appointments.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2019.