Govt foils opposition attempt to refer LG Bill 2019 to select committee in KP Assembly

Govt foils opposition attempt to refer LG Bill 2019 to select committee in KP Assembly

PESHAWAR: Treasury benches foiled attempt of opposition to send  KP Local Government Bill to select committee, assuring the House that their concerns over the bill, would be addressed and their suggestions would be invited on the subject matter by discussing the legislation in the House properly.

Opposing the suggestion of the leader of opposition, Akram Khan Durrani to send the legislation to select committee, Provincial Law Minister, Sultan Khan pleaded that the bill would be discussed in the House and opposition would be given time to forward their suggestions and proposals.

Defending treasury single-handedly, Law Minister, Sultan Khan opposed to refer the bill to select committee and mollified the opposition saying that the bill would be discussed clause-wise in coming session of the assembly adding the concerns and apprehension of opposition would be addressed in a most appropriate way.

Unfazed by the criticism, cool and calm law minister, clarified that the bill was being discussed at every available forum. He said that the aspects of the legislation were reviewed by Members’ Committee and secretary-level Technical Committee.

The Bill was tabled in the assembly after discussing it with Village Council’s Nazimeens and cabinet members and afterward legislation was tabled in the House, he informed. He said that Bill would be further discussed in the House giving opposition to forward their proposals.

Earlier, leader of the opposition contended that treasury benches should avoid making haste in passing the Bill and send it to select committee owing to its importance. He said that treasury benches should not bulldoze the legislation due to their majority in the House.

Criticizing the Bill, Sardar Hussain Babak of Awami National Party (ANP) said that it is astonishing that only seven departments are being devolved under the Bill that tantamount to undermining local government system adding that local governments were not being given powers to appoint class IV employees.

He said that “the bill is an attempt to depoliticize the society, on the contrary we have to take steps for strengthening democratic system in the province,” he said.

ANP law-maker suggested threadbare discussion over the Bill and said that all the stakeholders including Nazmeens and Nain Nazims should be invited in the discussion. He said that government should refrain from making it ‘Opposition Treasury issue’ but adopt a more result oriented and positive approach in this connection.

Senior parliamentarian Khusdil Khan of ANP also criticized government and said that it was appalling that government introduced legislation without deliberation and later suggest amendments. He suggested forwarding the bill to select committee lamenting the indifference of treasury for not inviting the suggestions of opposition in legislation process.

Later, house also discussed the amendments proposed by Inayat Ullah Khan of Jamat Islami relating to aforementioned bill. He proposed amendments in 65 clauses of the bill.

Sardar Hussain Babak of ANP said that local government should avoid limiting the ambit of the bill by putting local government system under limitation or any guideline. He said that local government should be given powers and confidence to dispose their responsibilities rather giving them guidelines.

“Local government system was being empowered or given power with restrictions and limitations aiming controlling representatives”, he questioned.

Sahibzada Sanaullah of Pakistan People Party supported the stance of Babak and said that system should be freed from limitations and local government representatives should be allowed to utilize funds keeping in view need and welfare of people.

Taking the floor, Local Government Minister, Shahram Khan Tarakai clarified that the system has not been under limitations but we want to abridge gap between electorates and elected.

He said that guidelines are flexible and meant to give representative orientation about utility and people’s welfare besides ensuring uniformity. He said that government wants to ensure need-basis utilization of funds.

Proceedings of the day were chaired by Speaker, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani.