More provinces!

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PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday suggested turning every division in the country into a province, claiming it would make governance more effective.

Talking at a lawyers’ convention in Sargodha, he said the country’s problems can be tackled more effectively if every division is treated as a province.

No one would differ from his assessment that smaller geographical units would be more manageable and mini provinces can contribute a lot in assessing needs of the people and resolving their problems in an effective manner.

However, the plan hardly suits a resource-starved country like Pakistan, where growing demands are being made both at home and abroad to reduce non-development expenditure.

The idea floated by Imran Khan would translate into creation of ten provinces in Punjab, eight in Balochistan and seven each in Sindh and KP i.e. 33 provinces including the one in Islamabad.

It would involve a steep rise in non-development expenditure as every province would have a Cabinet, Governor, Assembly, High Court and Ministries and Departments.

It would be more appropriate if, instead of creating more provinces, the existing districts and divisions are strengthened by ways of reforms and delegation of necessary powers as presently there is concentration of powers at central and provincial levels.

There are also complaints that the provinces receive hefty amounts under the NFC Award but trickle-down effect is not visible.

The real issue is not creation of more provinces but lack of transparency and good governance.

 

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