Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday approved the draft for a new local government system.
Minister for Local Government and Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Minister for Agriculture Farrukh Javed, Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmad Khan, MNA Hamza Shahbaz, the chief secretary and secretaries of law and local government departments were present in the meeting.
The law minister told the meeting that government needed five months to conduct local body elections.
The chief minister said the government wanted to hold local elections as soon as possible. He said the approved draft of the Punjab Local Government Bill would be placed before the standing committee of the Assembly. The chief minister said transparency had been the top priority in the new system.
He said separate authorities would be established for education and health sectors and reconciliation councils would be formed to resolve disputes at local levels.
He said a proposal to introduce panchayat system in villages would also be considered. Sharif said the proposal for municipal police in cities was also being considered.
He said an efficient local government system was essential for solving people’s problems at the local level. At the same time, he said, a system of check and balance was also essential.
Sanaullah told the meeting that the government had sent a summary for convening the assembly session.
He said the bill would be introduced to the Punjab Assembly next week.
He was hopeful that the bill would be passed within a month.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had ordered all provincial governments to hold local body elections by September.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.
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