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Sindh government restores 1979 Local Bodies system

02 July, 2013

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KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday issued a notification for the total imposition of the local bodies system all over the province under the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-1979.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon told that a notification had been issued by the provincial government's Local Government department so that local bodies' institutions would be fully established under the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-1979.

He said although the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-1979 had been revived earlier this year by the previous Sindh Assembly, yet certain local bodies institutions were yet to be restored fully in accordance with the 1979's local bodies ordinance.

Sources in the Sindh government said that complete implementation of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance had become necessary for the revival of municipal corporations in the three main cities of Sindh other than Karachi.

The implementation of the local bodies ordinance of 1979 will result in the complete doing away of the system of town municipal administrations under the previous Sindh People's Government Ordinance-2012. After the implementation of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-1979, there will be a Metropolitan Corporation in Karachi. There will be municipal corporations in other main cities like Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Larkana. In the remaining districts of the province, there will be district councils, under which there will be town municipal committees, and then there will be a system of unioncouncils in smaller districts.

The main city of Karachi will have five district municipal corporations in its five districts i.e. East, West, South, Central, and Malir. In Karachi, deputy commissioners in the districts have already been looking after the affairs of district municipal corporations in their respective jurisdictions as their administrators.

Earlier, the Sindh government had set June 30 as deadline for transition from the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO)-2012 to the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-1979. The SPLGO-2012 had envisaged setting up metropolitan corporations in the main cities of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, and Mirpurkhas while there would be district governments in the rest of districts of the province.

The transition period till June 30 had been meant to gain time by the Sindh government to hold any further negotiations with the Muttahida Quami Movement on the issue of local government system for major cities of the province. The MQM held a public referendum last month to ascertain the viewpoint of supporters of the party on the issue. The MQM later withheld the result of the referendum after killing of its member of Sindh Assembly, Sajid Qureshi.

Earlier, in February this year, just five days after the MQM had parted ways with the ruling coalition, the Sindh Assembly had adopted a bill to revoke the Sindh People's Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 while restoring the Local Bodies Act of 1979 for Sindh amid a vehement protest and walkout by MQM legislators.

The bill had mentioned at that time that the SPLGA was being repealed to revive the "time-tested" law "to improve the delivery of municipal services and provide justice and equal opportunities to all the people of the province."

The very next day, the then Acting Governor Sindh Nisar Ahmed Khuhro signed the Sindh Local Government Ordinance (SLGO), 1979 after which the old commissionerate system came back into effect throughout the province.


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