LAHORE: Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan has said that participation of the citizens in the local government is a must for its success. No system is good or bad but it depends on the implementation on it.
Best policies would be introduced in the new local government system which would bring about a revolution in Punjab, he expressed these views at an interactive dialogue on the first day of ThinkFest going on at Alhamra. The dialogue was organised by MPA, writer and activities Ms. Jugnoo Mohsin regarding local governments and community participation. Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that the new set-up of village and neighbourhood councils was being introduced where every council would comprise 6-7 members while direct elections will take place on party basis in the union council and tehsil set-up. Punchaiyat system will be established in villages on non-party basis. Similarly, for mayor and nazims people would vote directly on party basis, the minister said. Abdul Aleem Khan said the one village-one council concept would provide platform to start development in all the 22,000 villages of Punjab at the same time which would bring new look to the province. He pointed out that 30 per cent funds of the annual development fund of Punjab would be directly transferred to the local government institutions and every elected council would be free to launch its developmental project. Abdul Aleem Khan claimed that detailed deliberations had been made on the recommendations for local government and now the draft bill was in the final stage. He assured that all the drawbacks and shortcomings had been reconsidered and concrete steps were being taken for introducing such a solid system which could solve the people’s problems at the local level.
Abdul Aleem Khan said that the past government did not bother to empower and make functional the local government institutions which caused the feelings of insecurity and uselessness among the elected representatives with regard to the existing system. MPA Jugnoo Mohsin said that MNAs and MPAs should not be given developmental funds and desk work should be done by the local government representatives. Senator Musadaq Malik and other speakers stressed the need to come out of the experimental stage and introduce comprehensive local government system so that long-standing issues of the masses could be resolved.