LAHORE - Acting Punjab Governor, Rana Muhammad Iqbal has summoned the Punjab Assembly to meet on July 25  (Thursday) to legislate on new Local Government law.

The Supreme Court has set August 15 as the deadline for the provinces and the Federation to enact new laws to regulate the affairs of Local Governments. The elections must be held by September 15th, as per the court orders.

The Punjab government is learnt to have finalised a draft Local Bodies bill to enhance the role of the provincial government in the decision-making process at the district level.

It would be laid before the Assembly during the upcoming session to implement the court orders.

Sources said that there was greater likelihood of next local elections to be held on non-party basis and the new system will be an amalgamation of the old system and the present one with provincial government having dominant role in the new scheme of things.

It may be noted here that since the appointment of administrators in place of Nazims in January 2010, the government had been groping around in the dark for finding a basic framework within which the new system should work.

The question before the authorities had been whether to revert to the previous system of Municipal Corporations or continue with the present one; or should it be an amalgamation of the two. This problem seems to have been addressed now, but the government is reluctant as yet to divulge the details.

All district governments in Punjab are currently being run by their non-political heads-the administrators, directly working under the control of provincial government. Under the Constitution, local governments is a provincial subject and it is totally on the whims of provincial governments to take whatever decision they like about the contours of future district governments.