LAHORE: The Punjab Cabinet on Thursday approved the Punjab Local Government Bill (PLGA) 2022 with an enhanced quota of reserved seats for the youth to empower young people.

Under the PLGA-2022 bill, nine metropolitan corporations will be established in five large cities, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi and four divisional headquarters including Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The government will also establish 14 municipal corporations in rapidly-growing cities including Sheikhupura, Ferozewala, Jhang, Okara, Rahim Yar Khan, Kasur, Burewala, Chiniot, Hafizabad, Kamoke, Muzaffargarh, Jhelum, Muridke and Sadiqabad.The town administration will be restored in five major cities of Punjab including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Multan and Rawalpindi to ensure parity of basic municipal services across the city.

As many as 10 provincial departments will be devolved to district level including primary health, primary education, social welfare, family planning, sports, transport, civil defense, public health, arts and culture and tourism.

Shuts eleven toll plazas in the province

Women will get 33 per cent representation in higher tiers of LGs while youth quotas have been enhanced to empower young people by reserving seats for youth.

Heads of LG will have the power to select officers from a panel and surrender them back to the board.The LGs heads will be able to form cabinet s in support of functions; one third of the cabinet will comprise technocrats/specialists.

The Punjab Local Government Commission will be formed to settle disputes and act as a guardian of LGs to protect their autonomy.

It will work to remove hurdles in the functioning of LGs, conduct audits and inquiries, and take cognizance of violation of laws.

In order to strengthen the administrative and technical capacity of LGs; all future recruitment will take place through PPSC in a competitive and transparent manner and LG officers recruited through PPSC will be regularized with immediate effect.

TOLL PLAZA: The cabinet decided to shut 11 toll plazas in the province for convenience of the people and extend the current wheat release policy for another two months under which subsidised flour is being sold.

Chaired by Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, the cabinet also approved the constitution of the cabinet committee on wheat with the provincial food minister as its head. The meeting approved the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Privilege Bill, 2022 and the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab Secretariat Service Bill, 2022. It approved to extend the contract of Punjab Forensic Science Agency DG Dr Muhammad Ashraf Tahir based on his performance. The meeting endorsed the decision to purchase operational vehicles for the police while the CM directed that a training programme should be started for improving the capacity of forensic experts.

The meeting ratified the decisions of the second meeting of the cabinet and congratulated the political and administrative team members on the approval of the budget 2022-23 from the assembly. The chief secretary and other officers concerned attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2022

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