Sindh Assembly passes amendments to LG law

KARACHI (Faisal Azfar Alvi): The Sindh Assembly on Friday passed amendments to the local government law to further centralise the governance system, despite the opposition’s hue and cry. The new law is an attempt to centralise the provincial governance system, leaving the local government scant with a little powers and functions.

The Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was presented in the house by the concerned minister, Nasir Hussain Shah but opposition parties rejected the legislation and walked out from the house in protest.

The legislation process started controversially as the opposition legislators blamed the government for not providing them with the bill copies to know the amendments. However, Nasir Hussain Shah said that the government has all the proposed amendments submitted by the opposition parties. He claimed that the government has made part the several of the amendments proposed by the opposition into the bill.

On the opposition’s protest in the house, the Sindh Local Government Minister asked them: “If you don’t want election through new law then let’s hold them through old one”.

ECP reserves verdict on Sindh govt’s plea to bring new LG law

None of the opposition parties were able to raise their amendments into law, as had left the house during the legislation. Nasir Hussain Shah, the mover of the bill, thanked his party’s leadership for its “vision” following the adoption of the bill into law.

Scores of powers, functions and departments of the local government system were allowed to the Sindh government. The term of local government will be four years from the day of oath.

It replaced the District Council with a new Municipal Corporation, as population of a municipal town will be up to 125,000. None of the rural part will be in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Corporation.

The legislation also abolished the districts in the proposed Metropolitan Corporation and brought in town system. The election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor’s will be made through secret balloting instead of show of hands.

All those hospitals run by the KMC including: Karachi Medical and Dental College; Abbasi Shaheed Hospital; Rafiqui Shaheed Hospital; Sobhraj Hospital and Leprosy Center; will now be handed over to the Sindh government.

The KMC will no longer be able to make birth and death certificates; and run infection disease department. However, public toilets will still remain under the KMC administration.

The fresh legislation also stripped the KMC off its public primary health department and will have no role in health and education sectors. The powers to register and make rules for food and drinks companies have also been centralised to the Sindh government.

The healthcare employees working in the local government will fall under the Sindh government management. However, collection of taxes from marriage halls; clubs and advertising services will still remain with the local government.

The house also adopted The Sindh Telemedicine and Telehealth Bill 2021 into law. Finally, the assembly stands prorogued.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.