PESHAWAR: The local government representatives on Monday announced they would begin a movement, Baldiat Bachao Tehreek, to force the provincial government into giving them funds and powers in line with the relevant laws.
They also said nazims and councillors of different political parties would demonstrate outside the mansion of PTI chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad’s Bani Gala area on June 3.
The announcement was made by Shangla district nazim and general secretary of the All District Nazimeen Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Association Niaz Ahmad Khan during a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club.
Mr. Niaz Ahmad, who is also the son of PML-N leader Amir Muqam, said the hostile provincial government had forced the local government’s elected representatives to come onto the streets to claim due funds and powers.
Complain PTI govt denying them funds and powers
He said district nazims would meet today (Tuesday) in the office of Peshawar district nazim to make a strategy for effective Bani Gala protest.
The nazim said there was visible difference in words and actions of Imran Khan, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and local government minister Inayatullah Khan otherwise local government representatives would have secured funds under the Provincial Finance Commission.
He said the provincial government falsely claimed to have issued Rs43 billion to districts as actually, Rs13 billion had already been given to MPAs.
Mr. Niaz said the PTI leadership had repeatedly asserted lawmakers would have nothing to do with development funds and would focus their attention on legislation, but the grant of money to them had negated those claims.
He said the government had allocated Rs30 billion for districts but the money was later halved, while the funds for village councillors had also been slashed by 70 per cent.
The nazim also complained the government, in an act of sheer injustice, was issuing equal funds to urban and rural areas without considering the requirements of a district.
He said the provincial government was using the Provincial Financial Commission funds to serve own priorities.
“The chief minister, finance minister and local government minister have allocated two per cent of the total provincial budget for schemes in own districts of Nowshera, Dir lower and Dir upper respectively,” he said.
Mr. Niaz said there was a visible difference in the local government law and the rules of business as the powers to write annual confidential reports of the respective officials had been taken away from district nazims.
He said Imran Khan was trying to take credit for holding local government elections in the province but the fact was that the elections took place in line with an order of the Supreme Court.“We will expose the failure of the PTI government,” he said, asking all elected representatives of local government to join the June 3 Bani Gala protest.
BLACK DAY: The representatives of local governments in Mansehra on Monday announced they would observe the first anniversary of the LG system’s introduction in the province as a black day against the government’s move to transfer their powers to bureaucracy by amending the Local Government Act 2013.
The announcement was made during the Workers Convention in Mansehra city.
The LG representatives of Mansehra, Oghi and Balakot tehsils both men and women attended the event in large numbers.
“We are not as vulnerable as the government is considering and if our powers granted under the Local Government Act 2013 and snatched through amendments to the law and rules of business are not given back, we will besiege the provincial assembly and Chief Minster’s House in Peshawar,” tehsil nazim Khurram Khan told participants.
The nazim, who organised the event, said members of district, tehsil and village and neighbourhood councils in Mansehra would observe the May 30, the first anniversary of the local government elections, as a black day by holding rallies against the government over denial of powers and funds.
“We will soon make the strategy to reclaim rights,” he said.
The nazim also appealed to the Supreme Court to take a suo motu notice of the matter to ensure corrective measure by the government.
District nazim Sardar Said Ghulam, who was also in attendance, said the government should empower the nazims to post and transfer government officials of BPS-16 or below in their respective districts.
“District nazims from across the province are in constant contact. They will meet in Islamabad soon to finalise future course of action to get back the powers granted under the original LG law,” he said.
The convention later adopted a resolution moved by the Safada village council nazim seeking extension of the tenure of the local governments from four to five years, saying a year has been wasted by local bodies for being without funds and rights.
PROTEST IN SWABI: The local government representatives took out a rally from outside the Khas union council premises to the Karnal Sher Khan Chowk to protest the government’s decision to slash their funding.
The protest’s call was given by the All Councillor Association. President of the association, Taj Nawab, who led the rally, said the government should provide adequate funds to local bodies and withdraw the decision to curtail their funding.
He warned if the demands were not met by May 31, LG members would block the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway and take out rallies.