The PTI is the main opposition party in the Sindh Assembly and has prepared a bill for
urban areas ahead of the upcoming local bodies’ election.Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly
Firdous Shamim Naqvi told media the other day that his party has prepared the Sindh Local Government
Bill, particularly for urban areas. The party wants powers transferred to the third tier of the government
i.e. the KMC.The MQM-P— the PTI’s coalition partner–is also in favour of transferring the powers to the
third tier. Here is a look into what the bill proposes.The bill proposes to divide greater Karachi into 100
councils with 12,000 people per ward. These councils will be permanent for 20 years and then reviewed.
They will initially be divided based on the permanent or temporary addresses on people’s CNICs. Ward
residents will be able to avail certain tax concessions in that area. This could be on property tax, shop
tax or even street parking tax.There would be between 12,000 and 15,000 people per ward. Whenever
the number is increased, a new ward will be created. For each ward, there will be elected members to
govern the area.Each ward will have two elected representatives–one man and one woman. The PTI
proposes a joint electorate to elect these representatives.The PTI hopes to increase women
empowerment through this, as women will no longer be elected on reserved seats. The ward
representatives will then become members of the union council committee.The local council will have
one general councilor, one technocrat councilor and one labor councilor, each of whom will be elected.
It has been proposed that voting in local government elections be made compulsory for all registered
voters. Those who do not vote will have to face higher taxes. The PTI hopes to ensure the participation
of women and also inculcate a habit of voting in the public.Naqvi believes the opposition parties will
favour the bill. He said the PTI Sindh chapter will take its coalition partners into confidence before
presenting the bill in the Sindh Assembly. But MQM-Pakistan’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Sindh
Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hasan says otherwise. He said he hasn’t read the bill yet because the PTI
hasn’t shared it, but from what he has heard, it isn’t likely that the MQM will support it.