Political will needed for restoration of LG system

June 14, 2015 Off By Web Desk

Karachi: A vibrant, legitimate and responsive local government system can only be brought in to being provided there was political will on the port of the current political dispensation; said Dr. Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan.

Delivering keynote at a seminar on awakening masses to know their rights in the local bodies elections 2015, organized by National Reformers Forum, here he said the Local Government system must be autonomous and independent in its financial and political powers but authority in respect of making policies, oversee functions must rest with the provincial governments, adding that delivery of most basic services like water, sanitation, healthcare and education can best ensured at the lower tier of the government

He said that the Provincial Chief Executives of the provinces got annoyed with the Local Government system introduced by General (retd) Parvez Musharraf and this prompted them to vow not to devolve the required financial and administrative powers to the lower tier, adding that word wide experience and surveys had suggested that local governments were in better position to impose and realize taxes as an effective and meaningful interaction with the masses was only possible at local level

Dr. Ishrat Hussain further said that a vibrant and responsive Local Government system was not being allowed to function in the country because the legislators at the federal and provincial level were not prepared to surrender powers and privileges enjoyed by them since the independence

Veteran parliamentarian, Syed Zafar Ali Shah said that no general elections had ever been free, fair and transparent since the independence in 1947, adding that he had been one of the polling agents for Miss, Fatima Jinnah when she contested elections against the military dictator General Ayub Khan and he had been witness that no elections had ever been held free and fair in the country. He demanded of the Federal Government to impose Governor’s rule in Sindh province in the presence of the current political dispensation, no free and fair polls could be imagined.

Barrister Mujeeb Pirzada, Syed Khudadino Shah and Rasool Bakhsh Baloch also spoke.