Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Saturday (May 4) signed the Local Government Bill 2019, which replaced the existing local bodies with new system. “We are fulfilling our promise to transfer powers to the lower-tiers of administration,” Sarwar said.
According to details, the new municipal system consists of two categories that include municipal and mohalla councils in urban areas, while Tehsil and village councils in rural areas. He said public representatives will be truly empowered in New Local Bodies System.
Previously, PM Imran Khan was informed in a briefing that the purpose of new local government system is real transfer of power to the grassroots in order to ensure better and sustainable delivery. The prime minister was informed that under the new local government system, capacity of local governments would be improved and transparency in transfer of funds will be ensured. He was told that a solid procedure would be introduced to counter crimes and cooperation between police and people would be promoted.
Punjab Assembly had earlier on Tuesday (April 30) passed two Bills to replace the existing local bodies with a new local government system amid protest by opposition parties, particularly the PML-N.
Punjab Local Government Bill, 2019 and Punjab Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill, 2019l came into effect after Punjab Governor gives his assent. As a result, the present local government representatives would lose their office. The Punjab government plans to hold elections for the new local bodies within one year.
The Act would extend to the entire province of Punjab, except the cantonments. A “tehsil”, “district” and “town” will be defined as that in the West Pakistan Land Revenue Act 1967. It would be a five-tier local government system, which will include a city district government, followed by a district council government, a tehsil and town administration and lastly, a village and neighbourhood council.
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