KARACHI, Sept 7: The much-awaited approval of the new local bodies structure has brought into the open differences within the ruling coalition, with the Awami National Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional terming the arrangement a virtual division of Sindh.
The two disgruntled allies of the People’s Party contended that the new order was aimed at pleasing the Muttahida Qaumi Movement at the cost of rural Sindh.
Imtiaz Shaikh, general Secretary of the PML-F, said his party had decided to quit the Sindh government since “we were not taken into confidence at any stage”.
The ordinance, called the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance, 2012, was promulgated soon after it was signed by Governor Ishratul Ibad in the small hours on Friday. It has kept intact all five districts in Karachi along with 18 towns, which would continue to function within their existing municipal limits.
Although the agreement was termed a big achievement of the coalition government, its copies were neither released to media nor made available to the allied parties.
Imtiaz Shaikh said the new LG system had divided Sindh into two parts. “If Sindh is a single entity, why two systems are being introduced,” he wondered. He went on to claim that the PML-Q and the NPP had also decided to quit the government.
Shahi Syed and Zahid Khan, leaders of the ANP, announced that the party’s lone representative in the provincial cabinet, Amir Nawab, had submitted his resignation to the chief minister.
Under the SPLGO 2012 the metropolitan corporations were given the control of the basic civic provider institution while a number of sections of the 2001 and 1979 local government systems were included in the new ordinance, the informed sources confided to Dawn.
The commissionerate system had been made part of the new system as commissioner, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners would continue to look after the revenue, law and order and other administrative affairs while elected members would run the municipal bodies and metropolitan corporations independently.
The Building Control Authority would work as separate department while Water Board would work under the supervision of the mayor.
Similarly, the primary education system would be under the mayor and MDA, and Sindh Authority would be under the minister of the local government who would also be its chairman.
According to the first schedule, the metropolitan corporation had been authorised collection of property tax and determination of its rates while all primary schools, BHUs, RHUs and UHUs, child and woman health affairs, certain clauses of anti-encroachment cell, district roads and buildings of the works and services department would also be under the metropolitan corporation.
Besides, civil defense, community development and organisations, inland fisheries, social welfare, games and sports boards, finances relating to local government, budget and accounts, land and planning of KMC and KDA, planning and parking, mass transit, master plan, urban planning, land user control, land management, drinking water and its arrangement, reservoir, treatment plants and its distribution, sewers development, sewerage and its disposal, drainage and its boards falling with in the limits of the metropolitan corporation have also been transferred to the metropolitan corporations.