High literacy rate, social and economic equivalent and political awareness among people are vital for the success of a local government system, said participants of an international conference, titled Local Representation of Power in South Asia.
The three-day conference at the Government College University concluded with a policy dialogue on Extent of Devolution of Powers to Local Level: Constraints and Prospects.
They suggested that the government include a Local List of Powers in the Constitution and expand local governments’ taxation areas.
China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, Public Administration Dean Jiangfeng Li, Xiaoqing Xie, former federal secretaries Shaigan Shareef Malik and Kazi Afaq Hossain, academician Shafqat Hussain, GCU Political Science Department chairperson Khalid Manzoor Butt and Management Studies Department Director Najaf Yawar Khan attended the policy dialogue chaired by University of Bonn’s Prof Katja Mielke.
They said steps must be taken for the social preparedness and political awareness of people before introducing a local government system in a specific area.
Xiaoqing said the continuation of democracy ensured devolution of powers. He said political system of a country evolved with every new election.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of the conference, Government College University Vice Chancellor Prof Muhammad Khaleequr Rahman asked the organising committee to publish the conference’s proceedings in line with international standards.
He said the proceedings should also be forwarded to the government departments concerned.
He said the conference had discussed various forms of local representation of power in South Asia, their degree of success in providing public services and safety, their role in arbitration and adjudication, and issues like electoral process, administrative capacity, financial autonomy, and accountability of local governments.
Eleven foreign experts participated in the conference.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 16th, 2014.