Islamabad - The Mayor, deputy mayors and chairmen Union Councils (UCs) of the first-ever Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Local Governments (LGs) would exercise their powers under the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Municipal bye-laws until the new rules are framed, the sources said yesterday.
The government has set two years timeframe for complete transition of power from the existing Local Governments and CDA to the Local Governments to be established under the ICT LG Act, 2015.
According to the transition plan, the federal government has set two years timeframe for the identification and amendment in the existing laws and rules after the Act’s commencement. Similarly, framing of new rules, bye-laws and regulations under the ICT LG Act, 2015 would be completed within two years of the Act’s commencement.
Notification of transfer of rights, assets and liabilities from the existing LGs and CDA to the LGs under the Act 2015, however would be issued within 180 days of Acts’ commencement, reads the transition plan.
The first-ever LGs would come in place as a result of the elections to be held on November 30 (Monday) for which preparations are in full swing.
Sources in the CDA and the local administration told The Nation that the government is yet to issue notification for the appointment of chief officer and other officers for the first-ever Metropolitan Corporation, appointment of LG commission and appointment of LG Board. Furthermore, identification of the properties owned by the existing LGs under LG Ordinance, 1979 for passing onto the successor LGs and establishment of a service cadre for the LGs is also pending with the federal government.
The government is also yet to chalk out a formula for transfer of grants to the LGs by the government in future. The sources said two week earlier, the Cabinet Division had asked the CDA to identify the functions, assets, receipts, liabilities and deposits to be transferred to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad/UCs.
According to a letter written by the Cabinet Division to the Chairman CDA, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Nation, CDA may recommend functions to be retained in public interest along with reasons/justifications. The sources said that Chief Commissioner Islamabad would soon hold a meeting with the stakeholders to finalise the transfer of functions, liabilities etc. from CDA/ICT to MC Islamabad/UCs.
The sources said that under the new rules, which are being framed, MC would deal with budgeting, development projects, financial discipline, tax proposals, income tax and the provision of civic amenities to the residents of the capital. CDA will deal with the allotment and acquiring land only, they added.
To a question, an official engaged in framing new laws, told The Nation on condition of anonymity that as the budget for CDA has already been approved for the financial year 2015-16, the LGs would function within the limits of the approved budget until July 2016; start of the new fiscal year. However, he added, the federal government keeping in view the need of the LGs can approve grant for them.
To another question, he said that there is no infrastructure for the LGs, particularly in the urban areas of ICT and added that inquiry offices and other state buildings would be used as offices of the UCs until infrastructure is developed. He said that the UCs in rural areas have their offices already. He said that the authorities are yet to work out requirements of office buildings etc required for the ICT LGs.
He said that the staff of the devolved CDA directorates would also be transferred to the LGs. Chief Officer of the MC will coordinate between the government and the MC, he added. The official said under the proposed rules, the ICT UCs will be responsible for checking encroachments, implementing building bye-laws, prohibiting dangerous articles’ trade, environmental issues and health hazards.