New law for local government system transfers power to people

New law drafted a for local government by Punjab Government aims at creating local governments in Punjab for the effective discharge of municipal and designated non-municipal services. Initially the law for urban-rural divide was proposed by former president retired General Musharraf in 2001 but eliminated in 2013 by the former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The new law will not only empower the government but also be an efficient means of issuing policy directions, regulations, standing instructions and guidelines to the local governments. The council, its committees and sub-committees shall act through resolution. The new law for local government system transfers power to people. It will address people’s issues and transfer power to the lower level. People will be empowered. There will be a proper check and balance at the institutions.

According to the new law, current local councils will cease to exist. Within six months into commencement of the act, the government will divide all areas of Punjab into rural and urban except notified cantonment areas. Areas comprising district of Lahore shall be the local area for Lahore Metropolitan Corporation (LMC). An area which displays distinct urban features may be classified as metropolitan, municipal corporation, municipal committee and town area. The government could also divide the local government into two or more local governments or vice versa. Limits or class of a local government could also be altered.

The head for local government will also be the leader for the council. The administration will be headed by the government appointed chief officer, however.

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