LAHORE  -  The proposed new local government system envisages direct election of mayors and deputy mayors, besides devolution of administrative and financial powers from provinces to the local bodies.

Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan Wednesday told media persons that PTI government was working on the new local bodies system to empower the elected representatives at the local level.

He said that cities will have directly elected mayors and deputy mayors who will be empowered to execute development projects in their respective cities. “Even a councilor at the ward level would be empowered to solve people’s problems of local nature,” he said.

The minister stated that local bodies’ elections will be held on party basis and the MNAs and the MPAs of all parties will be allowed to run the election campaign of their respective mayors.

Aleem Khan informed journalists that third parties and international firms would be undertaking the audit in the new local bodies system and not a single penny would be allowed to be misused.

He further stated that government was considering the Local Bodies Act of 2001 and KP model to devise a new system. He said that a meeting in this regard will be held next Sunday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan to ponder over the recommendations about the new system.

Replying to a question, Aleem said there should be no political interference in the working of the departments but it was very much clear that writ of the government had to be established and elected representatives had complete authority to ascertain the public interest.

He added that best strategy was being evolved to solve the problems of the masses and work was being done on war footing basis in different sectors and transparency would be ensured.

Meanwhile, the senior minister yesterday announced to arrange 50,000 plants from his own pocket for the current Plant for Pakistan campaign and appealed to the every citizen to participate in the tree plantation drive as much as possible so that future of this beloved motherland could be saved.

After planting a sapling at 90 Shara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Aleem asserted that green Pakistan was the surety of this nation and country will have to end the environmental pollution. He hoped that the nation will make the dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan for trillion tree drive a success.

Also, talking in context of Defence Day, the senior minister said that those who sacrificed their lives for this beloved motherland were the pride of country men who should always remember their heroes.

He paid homage and tribute to the martyrs and expressed his determination that every Pakistani would be ready at the test time and present last drop of blood for safeguarding Pakistan from the enemy.