‘Local govts have to work under provincial administrations’

The Nation

Prime Minister Imran Khan is free to introduce any kind of local government system in the country but no matter what that new system be, the local governments will ultimately remain under the provincial governments.
Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said this as he spoke to The News on Sunday. When asked if he had any idea of the kind of the local government system the PM wanted, Ghani said he was unaware of the PM’s plans, adding that notwithstanding the federal government’s ideas, the local bodies had to work under the provincial governments.
To a question on corrupt practices in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), Ghani said it was a tough question and he was not able to reply to it in yes or no. The minister maintained that corruption was there not only in the KMC but in all the departments.
Regarding dealing with corrupt officers in the local government ministry, he said no one presented evidence against corruption and without any proof he was unable to hold an inquiry against any official.
The local government minister was of the view that there was always a room for improvement in any system and the current system of local governments in Sindh was no exception. He revealed that talks were under way with the stakeholders to bring improvements in the local bodies.
When asked to comment on Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar’s demands for more powers, Ghani refused, saying that the issue was now sub judice.
He said work on development projects in Karachi was hampered as the federal government was not providing funds to the Sindh government. The Sindh chief minister had already said that there would be problems in the payment of salaries to the government employees if the situation of federal transfer of funds persisted, he added.
To a query about the issue of water shortage in Karachi, Ghani replied that there was indeed water shortage in the city but once the first phase of the K-IV bulk water supply project was completed, the issue would be resolved to a great extent.
The Sindh government was focused on resolving the issues of Karachi, the local government minister said, adding that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also instructed the government to complete all the ongoing development projects in the city.
Ghani said Nahar-e-Khayam had been taken over by the Sindh government and the project for its beautification would be soon completed.

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