Islamabad - Delay on part of the Senate in passing ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill, 2015’ is causing hindrance in disposing of  official business of at least two government departments, interior ministry and Capital Development Authority (CDA), as they want to notify the number of reserved seats for ICT Metropolitan Corporation and submit proposals for budgetary allocations for 2015-16 budget respectively once the proposed piece of legislation sails through the upper house of the parliament.

According to the documents exclusively available with this scribe, the interior ministry is waiting for the upper house of the parliament to pass ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Bill, 2015’ so that it could notify the number of seats reserved for women, peasants/workers, technocrats, youth and non-Muslim members for Metropolitan Corporation ICT, in the light of the new piece of legislation.

Earlier, the Election Commission of Pakistan had asked the interior ministry to notify the number of seats reserved for women, technocrats and others at the earliest.

The ECP had intimated to the interior ministry that “the section 11(2) of the draft bill titled ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2014’ provides that the number of women, peasants/workers, technocrats, youth and non-Muslim members for Metropolitan Corporation ICT shall be determined by the government through a notification.” However, the interior ministry in its remarks observed that the ICT local government bill, which was passed by the national assembly on March 26, 2015, is waiting for approval of the senate and that the ministry should wait for issuance of the notification till the promulgation of ICT Local Government Act, 2015. The senate had received the bill on April 1, 2015 from the national assembly but the house is yet to take a decision on the proposed piece of legislation. The section 12 (2) of the bill said: “The number of women should not be less than 33 per cent, peasants/workers not less than 5 per cent, non-Muslims not less than 5 per cent, youth not less than 5 per cent and technocrat not less than 2 per cent. The numbers shall be computed by the government accordingly through a notification issued from time to time.” Yet it requires a notification from the interior ministry.

On the other hand, the CDA is also paying the cost of delay in the approval of the said piece of legislation from senate, as the authority is yet to submit budgetary proposals for the coming budget due to lack of clarity about departments which might go to the ICT local government after the elections in the federal capital. “It would be appropriate to submit budgetary proposals after we are clear which departments are going under the control of the ICT local government. We should submit demands for grants for those departments only which are going to stay with the CDA after the local government elections and subsequent bifurcation of CDA.

This can happen if the bill is passed but the government seems in no hurry in this regard,” said a senior CDA officer on condition of anonymity. However, he added, they have no option but to forward the proposals finally.