Commissioners, DCs told to transfer power to LG heads

Published October 22, 2021
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar chairs a meeting on local governments on Thursday. — Sreengrab via CM Punjab Updates Twitter
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar chairs a meeting on local governments on Thursday. — Sreengrab via CM Punjab Updates Twitter

LAHORE: The Punjab government on Thursday ordered all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners to immediately transfer entire financial and physical assets and liabilities of the local governments to elected heads.

“The assets include 54,000 employees who are now supposed to report to the heads of their respective local governments/councils,” a senior official told Dawn.

The order follows contempt of court proceedings in the Supreme Court as the government kept delaying the March 25 restoration of local governments until Oct 17 (when it notified the restoration)

According to a letter issued by the Local Government and Community Development Department, the commissioners and DCs have been asked to comply with the order in letter and spirit.

54,000 employees will now report to elected people

“.. this department vide notification of October 17 has withdrawn notification of the constitution of local governments under Punjab Local Government Act 2019 and restored the LGs established under the PLGA-2013,” says the letter.

“In this regard, the competent authority has been pleased to desire that all assets and liabilities including vehicles may be transferred to the local governments concerned. The matter may be treated as “Top Priority”.

The government had on October 17 restored the local governments in the province to comply with the apex court orders subject to the outcome of its petitions seeking a review of the judgment. Since the government had in May 2019 dissolved the local bodies constituted under the PLGA 2013 after superseding it by promulgating the PLGA 2019 and appointing administrators, most of local government representatives, including mayors, chairmen, vice chairmen took over their offices following the Oct 17 notification. A local government official said: “If anyone has any complaint he may file his/her complaint in writing to the department.”

CM: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Thursday directed officials to provide every sort of facility to the local bodies representatives according to the law and liaison be maintained with them.

Chairing a meeting about the local governments, the chief minister asked provincial minister Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed to maintain contacts.

The chief minister said the Punjab Local Government Act 2019 would be presented before the cabinet in a final shape and added that the government respected the court verdict. He said every step was being taken in accordance with the law and constitution.

Law Minister Basharat Raja, local bodies minister Mian Mahmood, chief secretary, AG Punjab, ACS, law secretary, LG and other high officials attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2021

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