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LAHORE: The Standing Committee on Local Government of the Punjab Assembly on Thursday approved the Punjab Local Governments Bill (2019), says Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Local Bodies Raja Basharat.

The bill was referred to the committee on Monday and it was supposed to report back to the House within 60 days. The committee, however, did the job within 48 hours and the bill is now ready to go to the Punjab Assembly any moment for final approval.

He stated it after the meeting of the Standing Committee concluded at the Punjab Assembly. Basharat said the committee was briefed on the Bill in depth and it underwent a detailed discussion before according it the approval.

“All of the members of the committee took active part in the discussions and reviewed the Bill from each angle. The queries of the members were satisfactorily replied for its legal repercussions and requirements.”

The minister expressing satisfaction over the legislation process of the Bill hoped that soon the nation would hear a good news in this regard as the new law had been drafted in accordance with the manifesto of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

“The law is fully capable of fulfilling people’s aspirations they had set with the PTI government. It would endow powers to the public at the grassroots level and promise financial as well as political autonomy for the citizens in real sense. In a nutshell, the new LG Act will become an effective instrument for the change Imran Khan had committed,” he said.

Reacting to the development, retired Col Mubashar Javed, mayor Lahore, said the new law was only a recipe for confusion.

“What they are doing is replacing elected members with bureaucracy and technocracy: all powers would go to the chief operating officer. In the next few weeks, two or three parts – dealing with the suspension of the current set-up – would be implemented and rest of the law would be put in the cold storage.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019