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LG Law issue: PPP, PML-Q vow to remove opposition’s reservations

KARACHI:Both the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) have mutually expressed the resolve that the reservations of the Opposition in Sindh over the issue of newly passed Sindh Local Government Amendment Bill-2021 will be removed amicably to ensure that the law of municipal governance in the province is acceptable to every concerned quarter in the province. The resolve to this effect was expressed as Sindh Information and Labour, Saeed Ghani, and Sindh Local Government Minister, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, met President of PML (Q) Sindh, Tariq Hassan, at the latter’s residence.

While addressing a joint a press conference, the PPP and PML (Q) leaders said that the Opposition in Sindh shouldn’t use the usual method of street agitation and instead sit with the provincial government to hold negotiations to resolve the controversial issue of local government law. Leaders of both the parties said that the PPP had legitimate democratic rule in Sindh, as the Opposition political parties should not use compulsive means to force the provincial government to incorporate amendments of their choice into the local government law. Sindh Local Government Minister said on the occasion the Opposition parties had attempted to portray in a wrong manner the statement of Sindh Chief Minister about majority party and minority parties in Sindh Assembly.

He said the ruling PPP was a national-level party as it had fraternal relations with the Urdu-speaking community living in the province. He said the People’s Party had been practically demonstrating that it was ready to negotiate with the Opposition on the issue of provincial local government system. He said that no new local government law had been introduced in Sindh as merely amendments were incorporated into the Sindh Local Government Act-2013 under, which the last local government elections were held. The PML(Q) Sindh President expressed gratitude to both the provincial ministers for coming over to his residence for holding talks on the issue of provincial local government system.

He said that they had given several suggestions to improve the local government law of Sindh as the provincial government had incorporated many of these proposals in the newly passed Sindh Local Government Bill-2021. Tariq Hassan said that he had suggested to the major Opposition parties in the province including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Muttahida Quami Movement to form a joint committee to hold talks with the government on the issue. He said he was pleased that the Sindh government was willing to meet every concerned stakeholder in the province on the issue of provincial local government law.

To a question, Saeed Ghani said the collection of municipal waste had not been the responsibility of Karachi’s mayor even in the Sindh Local Government Act of 2001 as that was the job of the districts. He said the Sindh government had agreed to form towns in urban centers of the province on the demand of the Opposition. He said the PPP otherwise had been in favour of retaining the system of district municipal corporations in Karachi. He said the process of devolution of powers to the grassroots level had been furthered with the adoption of new local government amendment bill. He said the tax collection authority of the municipal agencies had been further widened.