— File photo
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Governments Minister Inayatullah Khan on Wednesday said the draft of the new local governments law was ready and was likely to be tabled in the current session of the provincial assembly.
He was responding to a point of order raised by Awami National Party parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak in the House.
The minister, however, said he was not in position to tell when the local body elections would be held.
“The relevant department and working group have finalised the draft law for consent of the cabinet,” he said.
Mr Inayatullah said after the approval of the proposal law, the delimitation exercise would begin across the province which would require 45 days to complete and would be followed by 15 days period for appeals against it.
“This is very lengthy exercise and I am not sure whether the polls will be held by the end of December,” he said, adding that the proposed law provided for the creation of around 4,000 village councils in the province before the elections.
The minister said if the cabinet approved the bill about the new local government system, it would be introduced in the assembly during the current session.
He said the local government department and working groups had recommended the holding of local body polls on non-party basis at the village council level, while elections at tehsil and district council level would be conducted on party basis.
Mr Inayatullah said the cabinet and the assembly would make final decision on whether the local body polls should be held on party or non-party basis.
ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak and other members from the opposition benches opposed the holding of local body polls on non-party basis at the village council level and said it would be against democratic norms and values to conduct polls on non-party basis at the grassroots level.
He said during her May 11 elections, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had promised to conduct local government elections within three months if the people elected it to power and therefore, the government should announce schedule for the electoral exercise without delay.
The opposition members took up the issue of delay in the formation of the standing committees of the House when the relevant minister agreed to refer two questions related to public health engineering to the committee.
Speaker Asad Qaisar said the committees including Public Accounts Committee had been formed due to some issues, which he did not disclose.
He said he had sought proposals and suggestions from all parliamentary leaders and would soon name the members of the committees.
Afterwards, the assembly passed ‘The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Explosive Bill, 2013’ which was moved by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Israrullah Khan Gandapur on behalf of the chief minister.
The bill was aimed at regulating manufacturing, possession, use, sale and transportation of explosives in the province.