LAHORE: The Punjab government on Friday notified the dissolution of local governments in the province and appointed administrators till the election of new representatives.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Punjab government had dissolved the local bodies constituted under the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA) 2013 in May 2019, soon after coming to power.

However, the Supreme Court ordered restoration of local government institutions in March 2021 after declaring their dissolution as unconstitutional.

In October, the local government representatives assumed the charge after the Punjab government formally issued a notification to implement the orders of the Supreme Court for the restoration of the local government.

“As local bodies complete their tenure under the Punjab Local Government Act 2013 completed its tenure, the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under Section 71 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2021 (XXVII of 2021) appointed the following officers as administrators of the local governments mentioned against each with effect from 2nd January, 2022,” states the notification.

Lahore deputy commissioner was appointed as administrator of Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore, while DCs of respective divisional headquarter districts were also appointed as administrators of municipal corporations, every deputy commissioner of the respective district was appointed as administrator of all district councils, every additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of the respective district was appointed administrator of municipal corporations of Sialkot and Gujrat, assistant commissioner of Murree was appointed administrator of municipal corporation, Murree, every additional deputy commissioner (revenue) of the respective district was appointed administrator of all municipal committee housed at the district headquarters, every AC of the respective tehsil was appointed administrator of all municipal committees other than those housed at the district headquarters, and every assistant director LG&CD department of respective tehsil was appointed administrator of all union councils.

It further states that each administrator shall perform all the duties and exercise all the powers of the respective mayor and deputy mayor or, as the case may be, the chairman or vice chairman, and the house till the constitution of new local governments under the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2021 (XVII of 2021) and assumption of office by the elected local governments.

It also states in case where no elected local government is constituted under PLGA-2013 (XVII of 2013), the above-mentioned administrators are appointed with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz says the PTI government had unconstitutionally snatched the 30 months of the local bodies’ representatives and they were reinstalled by the Supreme Court.

He said democracy only could flourish in the country by giving powers to the local bodies’ representatives and governance could not be improved without the help of local bodies’ representatives.

He further said he was in favour of giving complete authority to the local government representatives in the Punjab.

He said on the demand of PML-N, a special committee was constituted in the assembly to devise local bodies’ law.

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2022

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