LAHORE - Legislators demanded strengthening of institutions instead of constituting authorities, giving more fiscal and administrative powers to elected representatives, importance to panchayat system, introduction of same system for rural and urban areas and holding Local Government elections on party basis.

Participating in debate on proposed Local Government Act here at the Punjab Assembly floor on Tuesday, legislators demanded increase in strength of Finance Commission and finalising legislation keeping in view the needs of next 100 years.

Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal chaired the session which started one hour and 13 minutes behind the scheduled time.

MPA Amjad Ali Javed said that there was need of introduction of panchayat system to ensure resolution of problems at local level. He also demanded ending the culture of giving development grants to different districts on the basis of liking and disliking.

Ahmed Khan demanded holding Local Government elections on party basis to check horse trading.

MPA Nabeela said that there was no harm in taking good points from the previous system. She said that there was no need of constituting authorities for health and education.  She stressed upon giving powers to elected representatives in the interest of democracy and the masses.

Waqas Hassan Moakal said that there was no need of approving act in a hurry. He said that act should be approved after considering needs of next 100 years.

Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said that separate system for rural and urban areas would not only further widen the gap but would also increase expenditures. She also suggested increase in the members of Finance Commission.

Hina Pervaiz Butt said that the waste management companies and institutions like WASA should be handed over to Local Governments for keeping proper check and balance.

Qazi Ahmed Saeed said that the PML-N was violating Charter of Democracy by holding elections on non-party-basis.

He said that this move would increase corruption and horse trading.

Malik Muhammad Ahmed said that the people should be given right to elect not only Chairman and Vice Chairman but also members of panchayat. He said that the powers should be devolved to the Local Governments as envisaged in the 18th amendment.

Malik Taimur said that delimitation of Union Councils should be made not on the basis of population but the number of voters. He also demanded giving authority to legislators. He was of the view that separate system should be introduced for rural and urban areas.

Rana Muhammad Arshad said that the PML-N was proud of CoD which was an agreement against dictatorship.

Amjad Ali Javed said that more powers have been given to the bureaucracy which was against public interests. He said that the elections should be held on party basis.

Tahir Masih suggested holding elections on non party basis. He said that minorities should be given representation in panchayat for resolving problems of the community at local level.

Shanila Roth said that women should be given 33 per cent representation in Local Governments.