Govt repeals neighbourhood councils act

Published February 12, 2021
The Punjab government’s claim of its readiness to hold local government elections before Sept 30 has seemingly shattered. — File
The Punjab government’s claim of its readiness to hold local government elections before Sept 30 has seemingly shattered. — File

LAHORE: The Punjab government’s claim of its readiness to hold local government elections before Sept 30 has seemingly shattered as it repealed the Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Act 2019.

The government has repealed the Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Act 2019 vide amendment no 62 of the Punjab Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 that reduces 25,238 village councils and neighbourhood councils to only 8,000 councils across the province.

Consequently, the Election Commission of Pakistan has withdrawn its Feb 4 notification, wherein it had notified the timeliness of different activities for the delimitation of villages and neighbourhoods in Punjab.

The ECP believes that the Punjab government’s amendment ordinance has sent all the delimitation work done so far in Punjab down the drain. Sources in the commission say the ECP will challenge the Punjab’s latest local government (amendment) ordinance in the court.

Move raises doubts about govt’s intention to hold local polls; ECP likely to challenge new Ord

The ECP says the promulgation of the amendment ordinance has altogether changed the shape of the local government system leaving all delimitations and arrangements done so far ineffective.

In view of the latest situation, the ECP has summoned the chief secretary and Punjab local government and community development secretary at its office on Feb 15 (10am) so that the local government elections could be organised at the earliest.

This reporter tried to approach Punjab Law Minister Basharat Raja for his comments but he opted to stay mum as he neither responded to phone call nor Whatsapp message.

The ECP had, on Feb 4, notified that preliminary lists of constituencies for inviting representations and objections be published on Feb 8. The representations and objections before the delimitation authorities by the voter concerned could be filed by Feb 23, disposal of representations and objections on March 10. The ECP had fixed March 17 as last date for communication of decisions of delimitation authorities to the delimitation committees and final publication of lists of constituencies by the delimitation committees be made on March 18.

In its latest notification, “The ECP has withdrawn Feb 4 notification issued in pursuance of repealed Act regarding the timeliness for publication of preliminary list of Village Panchayats/Neighbourhood and completion of subsequent activities for delimitation of villages and neighbourhoods in Punjab.”

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

LNG crisis
Updated 27 Jun, 2022

LNG crisis

Global LNG shortages have sent the fuel’s price spiralling to record highs.
Bloc politics
27 Jun, 2022

Bloc politics

USING the platform of the 14th BRICS Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made some interesting observations...
KCR dream
27 Jun, 2022

KCR dream

RAILWAYS Minister Saad Rafique has basically clarified what many a commuter in Karachi has known for long: true and...
Outlawing torture
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

Outlawing torture

Physical or psychological torture is now considered almost a given in police and intelligence investigations.
High-profile case
Updated 26 Jun, 2022

High-profile case

IN a ‘breaking news’ culture, it is not often that such a significant development in a high-profile case can be...
Daska redux?
26 Jun, 2022

Daska redux?

AS the clock ticks down on the by-elections scheduled for next month on recently vacated Punjab Assembly seats,...