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A system of strong and autonomous local governments

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A system of strong and autonomous local governments

The governance crisis is directly related to the absence of strong and autonomous local government systems. In the preferences of the political parties or the ruling class, this system is not only on a weak foundation, but repeated experiences have also made this system far away from the real system instead of strengthening it. Whichever provincial government comes to power first. His action is to abolish the existing system and then announce the reformation of the new system by revealing the defects in the existing system.

At this time, a new committee has been formed in Punjab under the supervision of Provincial Local Government Minister Zeeshan Rafique. This committee will ensure the formation of the new system by introducing new amendments or new reforms in the 2022 system. Provincial Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat and former Nazim Narowal and Member of Provincial Assembly Ahmed Ahsan Iqbal are also included in the committee. Local Government Secretary and Law Secretary are also part of this committee. The last local government elections in Punjab were held in 2015 on the basis of a court order.

After that, the provincial government of PTI also kept doing various experiments based on the preparation of the law, but neither the system could be given a final shape nor the elections could be held. Now it will be seen that the Muslim League-N How is the existing provincial government in Punjab and this committee formed by it different from past committees or past experiences? Will the formation of a new system and the election of new local governments be made possible immediately or will the same game be played again by adopting delay tactics which is a part of our politics.

The system of local governments faces several fundamental challenges. First, it has legal validity. However, if we look at the 1973 constitution, we find Article 140-A, which gives the elected public representatives the right to ensure elections, devolve political, administrative and financial powers and compete with the bureaucracy. They should lead the system. But there is a flaw in the constitution that if the local government system completes its term or is terminated prematurely, in how many days the local government system must be established.

Therefore, we have to amend the constitution to make local government elections mandatory within 90 or 120 days after the end of the local government system so that any provincial government that does not implement the constitution will face the violation of the constitution. Second, elections and For the continuation of this system, it is necessary that the tenure of the national, provincial and local government systems should be four or five years. Their elections should be held either on the same day or whichever provincial assembly is elected and within 120 days after the formation of the new provincial government, the provincial government should be bound to hold the elections of these local governments.

It is also part of the constitutional requirements to accept the principle, political and legal importance of SWIM, the local government system and to accept it as the third local government after the federal, provincial government at the level of the constitution. Fourth, after the 18th amendment. The process of provincial autonomy will not be complete without the system of district autonomy. The provincial governments are bound to play a key role in reducing the hardships of the common man by strengthening the system of district governments as opposed to decentralization or provincialism.

Fifth, in the Provincial Finance Commission, this point should be given primary importance that the formula for the distribution of resources should be created anew in any district that is weak or the feeling of deprivation is high so that the provincial resources are not only spent on big cities but on small and The distribution of resources in backward areas should also be done on a fair basis. Sixth, in the formation of the local government system, the basic principle should be adopted that no alternative system should be created compared to this system and all systems should be at the district level. Local governments are accountable. Seventh, the development budget, including development plans and implementation, should be directly linked to the local government system and at least 30 percent of the provincial development budget should be spent with the help of the local government system and the members of the assembly should be responsible for the development of the system. Issues should be limited or eliminated.

When the formation of new system in Punjab is being ensured once again, the formation of local government system by neglecting these basic principles will not be of any importance. The political and administrative structure in the local government system should be limited and the Union Council and District Council system should be strengthened at the Union level and the smaller the units, the more this system will ensure the solution of common man’s problems. In particular, the representation of women, minorities, farmers, workers, youth should be made effective and they should be empowered at all levels. Elections of chairman and vice chairman should be direct at the district and tehsil and union council levels and similarly specific. Seat elections should also be completed with the help of direct method.

The principle of 33% representation of women in the system of local governments should be adopted and the Muslim League-N government itself has passed this law in 2013 that the representation of women in all administrative institutions including political ones in the province will be 33%. Under the same formula, the representation of women should be ensured at 33%.

Although the system of local government is a provincial matter, the Federation should increase pressure on the provinces to ensure the principle of transparency and public participation by ensuring an autonomous local government system in their respective provinces under Article 140-A of the Constitution.

A system of strong and autonomous local governments

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