PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly passed the K-P Local Government Bill 2013 by a majority vote on Thursday paving a legislative way for local body elections in the province.
The bill, which the ruling coalition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat–e-Islami (JI) and Sherpao group claim is designed to transfer authority to the lower level in a real sense, was introduced into the assembly for debate on October 5.
Th law finally passed on Thursday, despite opposition from the various members of the parliament on abolishing union councils and instituting elections for village councils on non-party basis.
The new bill will see elections of the district and tehsil councils on party basis while village councils will be elected on non party basis.
Provincial minister for local government Inayatullah Khan of JI has announced that the provincial government will give each village council Rs2 million, which they may use to generate their own revenue.
According to the bill, the K-P government will allocate about 30 per cent of Annual Development Program (ADP) funds to local bodies.
JI provincial minister Inayatullah Khan had previously stated that the “local governments will be different from the previous one. Earlier, the dictator used it to manipulate power and authority while our system will empower the villagers.”
Under the new set up, a village council has been introduced, with each council comprising of 2,000 to 10,000 people.
Those villages which exceed the required population will be divided into two councils, while those with too small a community will be added with another council.
In cities, the city blocks will considered as council. Khan said that population will be decided under the 1988 census.
The village council will be elected on non-party basis while the District and Tehsil councils will be elected on a party basis.
According to Khan this was done “with the purpose of not changing the natural system of the villages.”