The Sindh government has finalised its draft of the latest local government law and will present it in the Sindh Assembly within a week.
The draft law that was presented at the cabinet meeting on Monday would be made public so that all political parties and other relevant stakeholders can file their input.
According to the initial draft, Karachi would be given the status of a metropolitan corporation. In addition, five district municipal corporations (DMCs) will be set up in each district. However, one district council comprising the suburban areas of the city would also be formed. Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and other urban centres will also have their own district municipal corporations. Meanwhile, the district councils, town and municipal committees would be formed in the rest of the districts and talukas. Sindh law and parliamentary affairs minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro said that different political parties had demanded to see a copy of the proposed bill, so the cabinet decided to seek more suggestions. “We had written letters to various parties for their input but most of them replied that they want to see a copy of the bill,” he said. The cabinet meeting has now decided to make this bill public on the government website and dispatch copies to the political parties and other stakeholders for their feedback.
“It will be a totally different bill and we will not pass it within one day as we had done for an earlier legislation on this issue,” Mandhro clarified. “We will give more time to the lawmakers to debate and make suggestions on the proposed law.”
The law minister further said that there will be no discrimination and equal rights have been given to municipal corporations and the district council. The provincial government had to comply with Supreme Court orders to make the local government law by August 15 but now the advocate general would seek more time so all parties can be consulted, he added. According to Sindh information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, the committee formed by the provincial government on local government legislation would also hold meetings with the parties. Under the law, all elected representatives will have more powers than the bureaucrats, he said.
Witness Protection Act
The cabinet also approved the draft of a witness protection bill that may be presented in the provincial assembly.
On the recent deaths from homemade liquor, Memon said strict action would be taken against those who are engaged in the business.
The cabinet members also took strong exception to the traffic congestion in the city, said Memon. For this, a committee comprising chief secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, jail minister Manzoor Wassan and Memon will coordinate with other officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2013.
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