New LG system introduced with consultation of stakeholders: Leghari

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Punjab Minister for Finance Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said on Friday that Punjab government has given a new local government system in the light of suggestions of civil society which would strengthen the foundations of democracy in Pakistan.

The provincial minister expressed these views while addressing a press conference here at 90 Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam. Punjab Ministers Malik Ahmad Khan and Attaullah Tarar were also present on the occasion.

Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari said that under this local government system, powers and authorities would be transferred to the people in the true sense, adding that democrats had strong reservations about the way in 2019 and 2021 laws were introduced. He said that these laws were introduced in an undemocratic manner without consulting civil soci-ety, political parties or relevant stakeholders, while Punjab Local Government Act 2022 had been pre-pared in the light of vast consultation with the stakeholders and feedback received from the public.

Explaining the details of Punjab Local Government Act 2022, the provincial minister said that 5 major cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gu-jranwala and Rawalpindi while 4 divisional head-quarters Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan would have 9 metropolitan corporations whereas 14 new municipal corporations and 234 municipal committees would be formed.

He said that provincial departments of primary health, primary education, social welfare, family planning, sports, transport, civil defense, public health, arts and culture and tourism had been transferred to district level local governments, adding that in order to ensure good governance and strong check and balance, the system of councils had been restored at all levels of LGs in accordance with the parliamentary democratic structure of Pakistan.

He said that defection clause has been introduced to strengthen the political parties and discourage the horse trading, adding that the heads would be elected and removed through show of hands according to the provincial and national legislature.

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