ISLAMABAD: The federal government has finally decided to make rules for the local government in Islamabad as the federal cabinet will take up the proposed rules at its meeting on Tuesday (today).

The Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) completed its five-year term earlier this year without any rules and funding.

The MCI was formed in March 2016 following the first ever local government elections held in Islamabad in November 2015.

It had no rules to govern and no funding from the federal government. Funds it collected through taxes also remained under-utilised in the absence of any rules and regulations.

MCI completed its five-year term earlier this year without having any rules, funding

The MCI’s elections were won by the then ruling party PML-N but after the election of its mayor and three deputy mayors it left the budding MCI on its own that resulted in the failure of the local government in Islamabad.

The PTI, which took over at the centre after 2018 general elections, also did not pay any heed to the MCI until it completed its term.

Sources said the new rules will also pave the way for setting up local government commission which will make the functioning of local government smooth.

The rules will define a mechanism for taxes such as property tax collection and issuance of birth and death certificates.

“The cabinet will take up 18 points relating to the Islamabad local government,” said a source.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan said the PTI government would introduce a vibrant local government in Islamabad.

He said work was being done for amending the Local Government Act 2015 to make it relevant to public welfare.

“Unfortunately, this act which was prepared by the PML-N government was a weak document that resulted in the failure of the local government system in Islamabad,” he said and added that new local government would be effective in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who wants to resolve people’s issues at their doorsteps.

The MCI was dissolved in February 15, and elections were supposed to be held within six months. However, it seems the elections will not be held anytime soon, said the sources, adding before conducting the new elections the Election Commission of Pakistan would have to carry out new delimitation.

In the 2015 elections, Islamabad had 50 union councils - 32 in rural and 18 in urban areas.

In the absence of rules, an office and above all a budget, the MCI could not even pay honorarium to the local government representatives.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2021

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