Punjab Local Government Bill to be approved within next few days: Fawad
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Thursday said, Punjab Local Government Bill would be approved in next few days to pave way for holding the LG elections in the provinces.
Briefing media about the core committee meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, he said the LG elections in Punjab would be held by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as the relevant law has already been amended by the Punjab government.
The allies of the government were also taken on board as constructive talks had been held with them on the new structure of upcoming LG election in the province. He said Local Government Elections were being held in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on December 19.
A total of 37,752 candidates will be taking part in the elections while a total of 689 candidates are in the run for the slot of village chairmen and tehsil mayors. Some 19,282 were vying for the neighbourhood councils.
Lauding the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan to constitute technical committees on the matters of EVMs, he said ECP is now heading in the right direction for holding the next election by EVM. The government was ready to assist the ECP in that regard.
Brushing aside the reports that the upcoming elections would be costly, he said indeed the process of elections would become a bit cheaper as compared to past due to EVMs usage.
He said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare Dr Sania briefed the Core Committee on some important social welfare programmes.
She briefed the forum on Ehsaas Programme and Rs 350 billion Sehat Insaf Card programme which would cover medical expenditures amounting to one million each of the entire population of Punjab.
He said the government was persuading the Sindh government to join the federal government for starting such welfare programmes in Sindh but they were reluctant due to the absence of chances of receiving personal gains from the programme.
He said the Balochistan government has agreed to join and contribute to the welfare programmes but Sindh has not yet agreed.
The role of the Sindh government was anti-people as they were reluctant to join social welfare programmes of the federal government.
He said the issue of inflation was discussed in the meeting and it was encouraging to note that the Sensitive Price Index has posted a decrease of 0.67 percent. The government was doing its utmost to minimize global inflation impacts. In the coming days, people would be provided relief.
Responding to a question, he said inflation was the result of devastating policies of previous governments and now people like former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi were shedding crocodile tears on the price hike.
He invited Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to have a session with the Bureau of Statistics to understand their system of issuing figures about inflation.
The opposition was the bunch of illiterate people as they were not well versed with current issues. Upto 40 percent increase in Sensitive Price Index (SPI) index was due to inflation records from Karachi.
The erstwhile PML-N government of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had left Rs157 billion debt. Pakistan was still bearing the brunt of their anti-people policies. Criticizing opposition, he said the opposition was not ready to participate in the meetings of parliamentary parties (for Election Reforms). It was obvious that the opposition was not to end their reservation regarding EVMs use in the elections.