PESHAWAR: The NWFP cabinet approved draft Amended Local Govt Bill to bring changes into existing Local Bodies system. The cabinet met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Amir Haider Hoti here on Tuesday and took some important decisions. After the meeting, NWFP Minister for Information, Mian Iftikhar Hussain while briefing newsmen about cabinet decision at Media Centre said that the decision was taken to remove lacunas from the existing LB system and bring it under the control of provincial government.
He said that the draft bill would now be sent to the federal government for final approval after which the amendments in the LB system would take place. About the proposed changes, the minister said that the thrust of amendments is at bringing it under the provincial government.
The cabinet observed that direct contact between district government and federal government is against the spirit of provincial autonomy, he said. The minister said that similarly in the draft bill, it has been proposed to hold Local Bodies elections on party basis. It is also suggested to set up Provincial Election Authority so that local bodies’ polls could be arranged by Provincial Election Commission.
The cabinet also approved reduction in number of union council members to lesson the burden on district governments, the minister apprised. He said the meeting also approved amendment in Seed Act 1976 for allowing private companies to sell seed. He said last year government faced a lot of problems due to shortage of seed and it is now decided to allow private companies to sell seed in different parts of the province.
The meeting also reviewed implementation on decisions taken in the previous meetings of cabinet. In this regard, the minister informed that the cabinet was apprised that the sub-committees constituted on Net Hydel Profit issue have held meetings and the Chief Minister has written a letter to the Prime Minister to hold a meeting of the main committee on the issue. Similarly, a committee constituted in the previous meeting on Forest issue has been directed to submit its report within a fortnight.
About law and order situation, he requested the newsmen to do responsible reporting on war against terrorism. He said the new strategy adopted in Swat has caused some collateral damage and media is much highlighting it. He said during the operation, it was observed that militants are using residents as human shield by living in most populated area. Now, he added, army has intensified operation to eliminate militants as a result of which some collateral damage is reported.-SANA