Not holding LB polls in govt’s first year was a mistake, says Fawad
Fawad Ch. File photo
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday admitted the PTI government’s mistake for not holding local bodies elections in the first year after assuming power, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
He said the biggest opposition to local governments was coming from Chief Ministers of the provinces. The minister was addressing a national conference on the ‘Future of Local Government’ in Islamabad.
Fawad Chaudhary regretted that the local government systems established in Punjab and Sindh in the past were not fully empowered as the funds were not transferred to them.
He said that provinces' budgets have not been distributed among districts on an equal basis.
He said that provincial finance commission awards were not constituted and funds were not transferred to the district level which was one major cause of problems of the people at the grassroots level.
The minister questioned how Karachi’s problems could solve by sitting in Islamabad.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan believed in the strong local government system.
“Provinces were empowered under the 18th amendment but these were not further transferred to the local bodies,” he added.
He termed the non-implementation of Article 148 as the biggest problem.
He said that Imran Khan’s petition on Article 140- A was still pending in the court.
He believed a fully empowered local government system was imperative to address the problems of the people at the grassroots level.
He said every person having political sagacity should endeavour for the establishment of a local government system.
Fawad Chaudhary said that during the past three years Rs 2300 billion were transferred to Punjab, Rs 1700 billion to Sindh, Rs 900 billion to KPK and Rs 700 billion to Balochistan.
He said that the provincial government of Sindh was not undertaking any development projects in Karachi which voted for PTI in the 2018 elections. He said that the federal government has started the Karachi Circular Railway project but how could the problems of Karachi be solved by sitting in Islamabad.
He said due to the lack of a system, the money of the provinces was not spent on different districts on an equal basis.