Chief Minister Usman Buzdar presided over a meeting at his office here on Thursday to review preparations regarding Village Panchayat & Neighbourhood Councils and Local Governments elections. Steps regarding implementation on Punjab Municipal Services Programme were also reviewed. The chief minister said that delimitations of local areas have been completed by the Punjab government and preparations of election rolls under Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 is in progress, as well. He directed to complete election rolls by first week of December and added that Village Panchayat & Neighbourhood Councils’ elections will be held in the first phase and local governments’ elections will be held in the second phase.
A total of 455 local governments will be established in the province, he added. He said that Punjab government has given approval to amendments in Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 regarding grant of voting right to minorities on general seats along with reserve seats. New local bodies system is in accordance with people’s aspirations while past local bodies institutions failed in solving people’s problems. Local bodies’ representatives will be empowered and the new system will end existing status-quo to empower the people, he said.
He maintained that new local bodies system will play an important role in solving problems at the doorsteps of the people. He added that local bodies’ institutions will be made financially autonomous and the people living in rural areas will also be empowered. Punjab Municipal Services Programme will be helpful in completing repair and maintenance of roads and other public-oriented projects at the grassroots, he added.
The chief minister also directed to settle the matters pertaining to this programme at the earliest. Secretary Local Government briefed about preparations regarding Village Panchayat & Neighbourhood Councils’ elections and local governments’ elections. Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Hashim Jawan Bakhat, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, SMBR and others attended the meeting.
Federal Minister Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar at his office and discussed different matters including promotion of religious harmony. Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Pakistan needs unity than ever before adding that national development process will have to be completed jointly because the country belongs to all of us.
He added that national interest dominates personal interest and every segment of the society should play its role in national development. The PTI government has laid the foundation of a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan and we are moving towards materializing the dream of Quaid-e-Azam about a developed Pakistan. He said that role of religious scholars is very important for promoting the norms of tolerance, harmony and brotherhood in the society adding that Kartarpur Corridor project is a conspicuous proof of inter-religious harmony. Prime Minister Imran Khan has given a message of brotherhood and peace to the whole world through the Kartarpur Corridor project, he added.
Usman Buzdar said that all the religious minorities in Punjab province enjoy equal rights and provincial government is also introducing different projects of minorities’ welfare and development. Similarly, the maintenance of shrines will also be improved in the province. The religion of Islam guarantees equal rights to the minorities and Prime Minister Imran Khan has given it a practical shape, the chief minister concluded.