Punjab Assembly has approved local government bill 2021 with a majority vote, paving way for a new local government setup in the province, empowering mayors.
The local government bill 2021 was presented in the assembly by Parliamentary Minister Raja Basharat amid protest from the opposition.
Sharing salient features of the bill, Local Government Minister Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed said that the local bodies elections will be held on party-basis in 25 district councils and 11 metropolitan councils of the province.
“Metropolitan Corporation will be led by mayor who will be elected through a direct vote,” he said, adding that all development authorities, WASA, and PHAs will be directly under the administration of the mayor.
The minister said that the rural and village areas will have union councils, abolishing tehsil councils and towns in the new setup. “Every village will have a village panchayat council and each district will have a cabinet,” he said.
The election commission has directed Punjab government to ensure immediate holding of local councils elections in the province.
A session of the election body, chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja discussed the issue of the polls in Punjab.
The election commission demanded the rules of the provincial local government law and maps from the provincial government, for holding the elections in Pakistan’s largest province.
Chief Secretary of Punjab and other officials also attended the meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“Failure in holding timely local bodies elections, is violation of the constitution as well as the orders of the Supreme Court,” the CEC said during the briefing.