LAHORE-Punjab Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat on Wednesday said that new Local Government System of Punjab was as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for  empowering the people at grassroots level.  He was presiding over a seminar on Punjab Local Government Act-2019 in the Punjab Assembly. Secretary Local Government Dr Ahmed Javed Qazi, members of Punjab Assembly, government officers and others were also present.

Raja Basharat said that Prime Minister Imran Khan gave full guidance in the preparation of new Local Government Act of Punjab while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, opposition and all stakeholders were consulted in its preparation.He said that compared to the previous Local Government Systems, this system would define power hirarchy between the federal, provincial and local representatives of the people. 

Raja Basharat said that in terms of revolutionary changes, it would be the first local government system in South Asia under which the people would directly elect a Mayor in the style of London.  He said the government was making serious efforts to hold Local Bodies elections as soon as possible. Briefing on the Punjab Local Government Act 2019, the Secretary Local Government said that under the new system, every divisional headquarters was being made metropolitan. “This will provide equal development opportunities to other cities”, he added.

He said that earlier, the opposition was half represented in the Punjab Local Government Commission but in the new system equal representation has been given.  

Dr Ahmad Javed Qazi said that 300 officers had been recruited through the 

Punjab Public Service Commission to provide capable machinery to the new system while more than one thousand officers were also being recruited through the Commission, he asserted.

He said that through digitisation, the Local Government System was being made paperless and transparent while the number of registered users of the mobile App ‘Baldiaonline’ would be touching the figure of 0.25 million.