Thursday October 06, 2022

‘Karachi deserves an empowered mega city government’

November 14, 2021
‘Karachi deserves an empowered mega city government’

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said on Friday the party had proposed amendments in the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 to modify it as per ground realities in the province after the government officially approached the religious party for this purpose.

Addressing a press conference at the JI headquarters, Idara Noor-e-Haq, he said that the JI had been closely monitoring the situation in connection with local bodies elections in the province.

Detailing the alterations recommended by the JI, he said that the party had proposed a “mega city government” instead of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation to run the affairs of the megalopolis.

Rehman also highlighted a major demand for a direct poll from the voters' franchise to elect a mayor and deputy mayor of the city. He further said that the PPP intended to keep 60,000 to 65,000 individuals in a union council in major cities. However, he said, the JI strongly advocated for a UC to consist of 12 000 as followed in other parts of the province.

Rehman also said that the JI proposed to replace the district municipal corporation system with town municipal administrations. He said that the JI in principle opposed the appointment of administrators; however, the party recommended placing administrators, if necessary, but not for more than three months, and if the necessity persisted a reference should be sent to the apex court in the province or to the Sindh Assembly.

He also proposed to place all development authorities under the proposed mega-city government.

To further strengthen the city government, the JI leader proposed to channelise more taxes and collections to megacity governments. He said the JI in its response also proposed to remove ambiguity from the prevailing act and replace the sentence “as may be prescribed by the government” with solid and clear terms.

The city’s police and traffic police should also be placed under the authority and control of the proposed government, he said.

Rehman said that in order to strengthen the system, the date for the next elections should be announced 90 days prior to the expiry of an outgoing term.

The Jamaat-e-Islami also proposed to place all local bodies under the proposed system of governance. The party sought greater autonomy and powers for the government over the hiring and firing of officials in the setup.

Further talking about holding local bodies elections, he said the JI had been approached by the ECP in connection with the hearing of the subject.

He said the chief election commissioner and the JI leader in a recent official meeting agreed to the need for immediate polls for local governments in the province.

He said the two sides shared concerns surrounding delays in the local government polls.

In his press conference, the JI leader also strongly condemned the PPP government for its policy against holding local bodies' elections. He criticised other political forces for their vocal and silent support for the PPP when it came to empowering the local bodies.

JI Karachi Secretary-General Munim Zaffar, deputy chief Dr Osama Razzi and Secretary Information Zahid Askari also accompanied Rehman.