LAHORE The Punjab Cabinet, which met here on Thursday with Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in the chair, decided to delay local polls for another six months. The Cabinet also granted approval to amendments in some Acts and draft bills including Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan Act 2011, amendments in draft bill of Punjab Environmental Protection (Amendment) Act, 2011 and the bill titled 'The Punjab Motor Vehicle Transaction Agents Act, 2010. Through an amendment in Punjab Local Government Ordinance, which would be placed before Punjab Assembly for approval in its upcoming session starting from Friday (today), the Cabinet has approved further six months extension in holding of local elections. Briefing reporters about Cabinet decisions, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah justified delay in conduct of local elections on the plea that Elections Commission was still in the process of updating electoral rolls which will not be available in the next few months. Since appointment of administrators in place of Nazims in January 2010, this is for the third time that Punjab government has decided to amend the Local Government Ordinance to postpone local elections. The first amendment in the said ordinance was made in February 2010 to delay the local polls for six months. It was amended again in October 2010 and elections were postponed for a year. Now, the government would be amending the law for the third time to give legal cover to its decision of not holding elections for another six months. Political analysts believe that local governments in Punjab, which are functioning without their political heads since January 2010, are less likely to have elected Nazims before expiry of the tenure of provincial government due to political reasons. All district governments in Punjab are currently being run by their non-political heads-the administrators, directly working under the control of provincial government. The anticipated amendment in Local Ordinance through Provincial Assembly will only make it mandatory for the govt to give a precise date for holding local polls till April 2012. The government will be at liberty to wait for the said date and then give a precise date stretching over any period of time-five, six, seven months and even beyond that. The Punjab government also has the option to further amend the Local Government Ordinance through Punjab Assembly to delay the local elections for an indefinite period. Under the Constitution, local governments is a provincial subject and it is totally on the will of provincial governments to take whatever decision they like about the fate of the district governments. The meeting also gave approval to recommendations regarding appointment of members of Punjab Public Service Commission. Through amendment in relevant rules, the Cabinet decided that three-year contract of PPSC members will not be extended in any case. A maximum age limit of 65 years has also been fixed for them. The Cabinet also decided that Punjab Employees Efficiency and Disciplinary Act 2006 (PEEDA) will not be applicable to Punjab police. It was decided that police will evolve own rules and regulations to punish and reward the policemen. As per sources, the decision to exempt police from PEEDA has been taken to tighten the noose around those policemen who often escape the punishment by benefiting from certain loopholes in PEEDA. Granting approval to various amendment bills and drafts, the Chief Minister said that Punjab Public Defenders Service Act 2007 had failed to provide legal assistance to the deserving persons, therefore, it has been decided to abolish this law; however, new legislation will be carried out with the consultation of legal societies for extending legal assistance to poor persons. Granting approval in principle to Punjab Motor Vehicle Transaction Agents Act, 2010, he directed that rules in this regard should be submitted to him in the next meeting after considering all aspects while facilitation centres should also be set up for providing maximum facilities to the citizens. The meeting also gave approval to recommendations regarding appointment of the members of Punjab Public Service Commission. Addressing the meeting, the Chief Minister said that Punjab province especially Lahore had been worst affected by dengue virus, however, elected representatives, bureaucrats, experts and the departments concerned have set a shining example of service to ailing humanity by working round the clock. He said that had this spirit been displayed during the last 64 years, the country would not have been plunged into darkness. He said that the challenges being faced by the country could still be countered if the same passion was demonstrated. The CM further stated that same model will be replicated for the progress of the province and prosperity of the masses. He said that the team of officers headed by Chief Secretary worked with commitment and dedication which is highly appreciable. He said that doctors, nurses and paramedical staff had proved themselves to be the messiah in the real sense by looking after the patients round the clock and due to their efforts and by the grace of Allah Almighty, thousands of patients have recovered. He said that Sri Lankan and Indonesian medical teams also played a laudable role in this moment of trial by providing guidance and apprising the local doctors of their knowledge and experiences regarding dengue virus. He said that credit also went to Pakistani doctors who mastered the skills of coping with dengue virus within a few days and are saving precious human lives. He said that extensive preparation were being made for coping with dengue virus next season while 150 doctors, nurses and technicians were being sent to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore for training.