Islamabad-Union Councils (UCs) in the capital are unable to perform their functions under the ICT LG Act, 2015 due to non-availability of staff, lack of coordination and funds.

On the other hand, Sheikh Anser Aziz is simultaneously enjoying the position of both Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Mayor Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and continues to show more interest in the affairs of CDA rather than the newly-born MCI.

According to the officials engaged in the process of transition of power to the elected representatives of the people, there is neither revenue generation nor the federal government has so far allocated funds for the elected bodies.

“There is no infrastructure, no budget for the metropolitan corporation and UCs… under these circumstances, the new system is doomed to flop”, said the officials on condition of anonymity.  

Lamenting the government’s approach towards the MCI, they said no staff is available for the newly-established UCs except 12 in rural areas which were already functional. There are 50 UCs in Islamabad and out of which 18 are in urban area. “The Mayor has also got the charge of Chairman CDA, which has ample funds as compared to the MCI, which has neither staff nor funds. Instead of striving for making the elected bodies stand on their feet, the Mayor is more interested in enjoying his position as chairman CDA,” they said.

The officials said that in view of lack of funds for the MCI, Sheikh Anser Aziz as Chairman of the Authority has managed loan from CDA which they feared would invite audit paras.

“I fear that audit department would raise objections to the decision of Sheikh Anser Aziz,” said a senior government official dealing with the transition process. He admitted that the Mayor has also got himself overburdened by accepting the charge of chairman CDA.

Commenting on the slow pace of transition, the officials said nothing has so far been practically transferred from CDA to MCI as no assets have so far been transferred to the corporation. “One year has passed and the ICT LG institutions are standing at the point where they were on the day one,” the officials said and added there is no clear cut division of functions between CDA and MCI. They also blamed the Mayor’s indifferent attitude towards lack of coordination between CDA and MCI. They said there is no follow up of decisions taken in MCI meetings as no infrastructure is in place to implement the decisions and the public complaints remain unattended.

On the other hand, frustrated chairmen UCs, in the wake of slow pace of transition process, have themselves started asking the Mayor to allow them make arrangements for making UCs functional. Malik Waseem Sana, Chairman UC 18 Khanna Dak, Islamabad has asked the Mayor to allow him collect professional tax. In a letter to the Mayor, the chairman said that they have established UC office and that the Mayor should allow him to collect professional tax from the UC limits. The chairman also told the Mayor that he has opened UC’s Account in the name of secretary at Askari Bank limited (title of Account: UC 18, Khanna Dak Islamabad). He has also sought permission from Mayor for shifting record of UC from Tarlai to Khanna UC 18.