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September 17, 2020

Govt to hold LG polls at the earliest, says Basharat

Lahore

September 17, 2020

LAHORE:Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat has said that Punjab's local government system is the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan which will play an important role in empowering people at grassroots level.

According to a handout issued here, the law minister was presiding over a seminar on Punjab Local Government Act 2019 in the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday. Secretary Local Government Dr Ahmed Javed Qazi, members of Punjab Assembly, government officers and representatives of civil society were also present on the occasion.

Raja Basharat said that the Prime Minister gave full guidance in the preparation of the new Local Government Act of Punjab while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, opposition and all stakeholders were consulted in its preparation.

He said that compared to the previous local government systems, this system reduces the tension of power between the federal, provincial and local representatives of the people. Raja Basharat said that in terms of revolutionary changes, it would be the first local government system in South Asia under which the people would directly elect a mayor in the style of London. Raja Basharat said that the government is making serious efforts to hold local bodies elections as soon as possible. Briefing on the Punjab Local Government Act 2019, the Secretary Local Government said that under the new system, every divisional headquarters is being made metropolitan, before only Lahore Municipality had the status of metropolitan.

"This will provide equal development opportunities to other cities." He said that earlier the opposition was half represented in the Punjab Local Government Commission but in the new system equal representation has been given. Dr Ahmad Javed Qazi said that 300 officers had been recruited through the Punjab Public Service Commission to provide capable machinery to the new system while more than one thousand officers are also being recruited through the Commission. He said that through digitization the local government system was being made paperless and transparent while the number of registered users of the mobile App 'Baldiaonline' would be touching the figure of 0.25 millions. "Also, by computerising the data of all our employees, issues like their attendance, service, postings and transfers were being streamlined through the Human Resource Management Information System.

The Secretary LG said that a comprehensive training and awareness program had been launched for the training and awareness of voters, candidates and local government employees to run the new system effectively. All participants took part in discussions actively.