Punjab LG dept proposes revival of local bodies

Published July 15, 2021
In this file photo, banners of political parties displayed in Lahore during a local government election. — Azhar Jafri/ White Star
In this file photo, banners of political parties displayed in Lahore during a local government election. — Azhar Jafri/ White Star

LAHORE: Following the March 25 short order and subsequent detailed judgement issued by the Supreme Court last week, the Punjab local government department has proposed restoration of local bodies across the province.

A summary moved by the local government and community development department to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar late on Wednesday night has proposed constitution of transition teams at provincial, divisional and district levels to affectively steer this transition.

The provincial transition team will be headed by the local government department’s special secretary and consist of the Punjab Local Government Board secretary as the secretary of the committee and representatives of regulation wing of S&GAD department, finance and L&PA departments as members besides any other co-opted member.

The divisional teams hea­ded by the commissioners will comprise deputy commissioners, additional commissioners (coordination), local government director (secretary) and any other co-opted member. Similarly, the district teams will be headed by deputy commissioners and comprise deputy director of local government (secretary) and heads and opposition leaders of restored local governments (except union councils), additional deputy commissioners, chief officers as members besides any other member co-opted by the team.

“The apex court vide a short order of March 25, 2021 passed in civil petitions No-48 and 7 of 2019 and 2020 respectively declared section-3 of the PLGA 2019 envisaging dissolution of the local governments constituted under the Punjab LG act 2013 ultra vires to the constitution and restored the local government existed prior to the promulgation of the PLGA-2019 to complete their term under the law,” reads the summary.

It mentions that the local governments constituted under the repealed Punjab Local Government Act 2013 could not be restored because the detailed judgement was not announced till July 5, 2021. The government filed review petitions to seek guidance from the court regarding implementation of the short order in the absence of the detailed judgement while highlighting the financial and administrative implications involved in restoration of local bodies.

On the other hand, the mayors and other elected representatives of local bodies filed a criminal petition over non-implementation of short order of the apex court.

The review petitions have not been fixed for hearing in the apex court so far. Now the court has also announced a detailed judgement exhaustively providing the reasons for the short order of March 25.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2021

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