Local government system will be strengthened and empowered, Gandapur

PESHAWAR: A meeting was held here on Saturday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandapur in the chair regarding the issues being faced by the elected local bodies in the province.

Besides provincial minister for Local Government, Arshad Ayub Khan, Secretary Local Government and administrative secretaries of the concerned departments, the meeting was attended by the representatives of Chairmen of Tehsil Councils, Village and Neighborhood Councils including Himayatullah Mayar, Inamullah Khan, Zubair Ali, Shahid Ali Khan, Sardar Shuja Nabi and others. The meeting discussed threadbare issues of local bodies comprising thirteen different points and important decisions were taken to address those issues.

It was principally decided in the meeting to release the required funds for the honorarium and other perks and privileges of the elected representatives of local bodies, to enhance the honorarium of Mayors and Tehsil Chairmen to double, and to immediately table necessary amendments in the Local Government Act for formal approval to enabling the province government to provide developmental grants to the local bodies.

The Chief Minister while deciding to give shuhada package to the family members of those elected local bodies representatives on the analogy of government employees, directed the concerned authorities for necessary steps to give shuhada packages to the family member of the elected local body representatives of Merged Districts who have lost their lives in terrorist incidents. It was also decided in the meeting to enhance the honorarium of the chairmen of Village and Neighborhood Councils and enhance the amount of rent being paid for the offices of Village and Neighborhood Councils.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned authorities to get the details of vehicles available with Deputy Commissioners across the province so that the elected local bodies representatives could be facilitated with official conveyance facilities. Talking on this occasion, Sardar Ali Amin Gandapur termed the local bodies as of high importance to resolve public issues at the grassroots level, and said that local government system in the province would be strengthened and facilitated as per the vision of Imran Khan.

He remarked that administrative and legal reforms would be introduced to improve and empower the existing local body system, and the elected local body representatives will be extended all out support to enable them deliver to masses at local level. “We are elected public representatives, and as such we honor and respect the mandate of public, public has expectations from their elected representatives whether they are of local bodies, Provincial Assemblies or National Assembly”, Ali Amin Gandapur stated adding that issues faced by the local bodies representatives would be resolved on priority basis; and assured that the local administration would extend full cooperation to the local bodies representatives.

The Chief Minister flagged the financial crunch being faced by the provincial government, and said that due to nonpayment of the liabilities and due shares of the province by the centre, the provincial government is facing difficulties but he is trying his level best to get the due rights of the province. He urged upon the elected local body representatives to extend full support to the provincial government in this regard irrespective of their political affiliation as it was the matter of provincial rights.

He also stressed upon the local bodies representatives to work out plans for the financial self-sustainability of the local bodies by effectively and efficiently utilizing its assets and properties, and said that Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) models be adopted for efficient use of these assets with the aim to enhance revenue of local bodies. The elected local body representatives thanked the Chief Minister for holding the meeting to resolve their problems and issuing on spots decisions in this regard. They appreciated the Chief Minister for his struggle to get the rights of the province from the centre, and assured him their full support in this regard.