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    district govts..is it a good idea

    The govt is planning to introduce district govts by Aug 2001 which will be free to make their own policies and introduce their own taxes w/o any guidelines from federal govt...
    IS it a good idea...or will it create disorder & disunity in the country...?

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    Ik fursat e gunah mili woh bhi char din

    #2
    Yes district governments with more autonomy are a good idea. They should go some way to remove the imbalanced nature of our federal structure where Punjab dominates the federation. More provinces are such a waste and would not do anything for the common person in Pakistan.

    The CE's plan to devolve power from the centre to the provinces and from the provinces to the districts is the best way to promote cohesivness in the federation. Most problems are local in Pakistan and the new empowered district governments will best handle them.

    The new district governments will have directly elected Chief Mayors (and deputy) and a directly elected District Assembly (50% of seats to women). The Chief Mayor and Assembly will make all the major appointmets in the district e.g. DC of Police etc - therby removing the power of the federal bureaucracy. District assemblies will have legislative powers and can vote to dismiss any official - so end of nepotism/favourotism.


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      #3
      Yeah...I think its a good idea! A 3-tier government: National, Provincial and Local provided the lower tiers don't make laws in conflict with upper tiers(state unity).

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      Sarfraz Khan

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        #4
        how do u ensure that there will not be exploitation at dist level... this is like putting the fox incharge of chicken...

        how do u ensure that dist govt will not cross the limits & make laws not good 4 unity...e.g. the dist of Gujrat is doing really great...low taxes high incomes...dist of wazirabad is down the drain...high taxes low incomes...result ppl migrate from wazirabad to gujrat..gujrat dist govt puts a ban on migration....what 2 do.......?

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          #5
          In any form of government, there are no guarantees. So, let us not fool ourselves.

          -A waterway which goes through various provinces, is a job of some federal ministry to maintain it

          -A highway which only labyrinths in a province should me made by a province

          -To design and make streets in a town or village is the job of a district government

          I think there should have been laid out guidelines, the dos and don'ts for national, provincial and district governments. What may or may not do a national, provincial or district government against each other.

          Normally a country or state allows free movement of persons and goods within its borders. I don't see a problem when Wazirabad & Gujrat are in the same country.

          Yes, some districts/provinces can be poorer than others and might get into financial troubles. Herein lies the responsibility of the national or provincial government to backup the poorer ones for the time being.

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          Sarfraz Khan

          Comment


            #6
            Atif bhai has explained brilliantly and in detail the necessities of devolution of power to the local level. Until October 1999 we had the situation where a sitting MNA/MPA (from a governing party)was in effect the "feudal lord" of his consituency and could exercise enormous powers of authority and privelege (corrupt)over the running of affairs in his constituency i.e. Transfers of DC's of Police, Judges etc. This situation was further abused by a bloated and corrupt federal bureaucracy.

            By devolving the power to the local level and giving districts some legislative powers, it will be the elected district authorities who will make the decisions not the MNA/MPA's and bureaucrats. If the present accountability process is widened and brought down to the local level hopefully we can limit or avoid localised corruption.

            It should be noted that the CE has kept the federal bureaucracy in the dark about his plans - as they will be the biggest losers. And that the new district governments will have a far wider social basis than the feudalistic Federal and Provincial assemblies. Women are guaranteed 50% of the seats, and peasants/workers and minorities are given a good share of the seats - leaving the feudals very little room to get elected. But if the feudals do attempt to get in at district level - then they will have to go village by village begging for votes form the common person of Pakistan! what a beautiful irony

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              #7
              Originally posted by Malik73:
              It should be noted that the CE has kept the federal bureaucracy in the dark about his plans - as they will be the biggest losers. And that the new district governments will have a far wider social basis than the feudalistic Federal and Provincial assemblies. Women are guaranteed 50% of the seats, and peasants/workers and minorities are given a good share of the seats - leaving the feudals very little room to get elected. But if the feudals do attempt to get in at district level - then they will have to go village by village begging for votes form the common person of Pakistan! what a beautiful irony
              if they can manage to get common men elected in the dist govt than the idea may work...but most likely the local wadera/chaudhry will get elected & with the might of dist govt behind him will exploit those under him even more.... how to do this is the question......?
              by the way dist govt in itself is a good idea...it works elsewhere...but for that we need to change the way ppl think in pakistan...r they ready 4 it..?

              Comment


                #8
                Some welcome confirmation that 50% of seats in the Local Bodies will be for women despite objections by vested interests. This should make the governace at Local Level more efficient and more relevant to the needs of the common man and woman:-
                http://www.dawn.com/2000/07/13/top1.htm

                National Security Council firm on 50% LB seats for women: Age limit for CSS exam cut

                The National Security Council on Wednesday rejected objections against allocation of 50 per cent seats for women in the proposed district governments.

                It also decided to reduce upper age limit for candidates appearing in the central superior services (CSS) examination. The decisions were taken at a marathon meeting of the NSC which begun at 10am and continued till 4.45pm here today.

                The meeting, presided over by Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf, discussed various suggestions being received from cross section of society regarding devolution of power and district governments, a member of the council told Dawn.

                The NSC reduced the age limit for candidates appearing in CSS examination on general seats from 30 to 28 years; for backward areas' candidates from 33 to 30; and for government employees with two years continuous service from 35 to 30, he said.

                The age limit will be effective for the examination to be held in 2001, he added. The National Reconstruction Bureau had received a large number of suggestions urging the government to review a proposal of allocating 50 per cent seats for women in the district and local governments.

                The NSC after thorough deliberations rejected all such suggestions and concluded that 50 per cent seats would be fixed for women to give them due representation in democratic institutions since they constituted more than half of the population.

                The 50 per cent seats would be fixed for women even if these would not be contested or remained vacant in the initial years, the member said.

                Gen Musharraf reaffirmed his commitment to honour the Supreme Court judgment obliging him to restore the democratic institutions in the stipulated period.

                The chief executive in a very "candid manner" assured that all the democratic institutions, including National and provincial assemblies as well as the Senate, would be put in place before the expiry of the three years deadline.

                Highlighting the importance of taking on board all stake-holders in the devolution programme, Gen Musharraf emphasised that the plan envisaged decentralization of powers from the federal government to the provinces which, in turn, would strengthen provincial autonomy.

                The chairman, National Reconstruction Bureau, Lt-Gen (retd) Tanveer Hussain Naqvi, gave a detailed presentation to the council on the progress of the devolution plan and responsibilities to the grass-root level in order to ensure real and enduring democracy in the country.

                The NRB chief said that the elections for the district governments would be conducted in five different phases. The first phase would start with the holding of polls in eight districts in December; the second phase would be held in February; the third in April; fourth in May and the fifth phase in July, next year.

                He said the NRB had almost finalised its plan of district governments and would submit it to the NSC in the last week of July or the first week of August, so that it could be unfolded by the chief executive on Aug 14.

                The NSC also discussed the internal situation of the country and expressed satisfaction on the overall law and order situation.

                Gen Musharraf apprised the meeting about the government's talk with the traders community. He said almost all the traders particularly the small traders were willing to pay general sales tax, however some political forces were instigating them on strikes.

                He said the government had confirmed reports that certain political elements were inciting them against the government. He also took the NSC into confidence about his recent meetings with the political leaders.

                Comment


                  #9
                  how do we assure that ladies like Benazir & Kulsom Nawaz dont snatch away these seats...
                  bahi the point is as long as these vested interests keep getting elected we have no chance of real democracy....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think the 50% of female seats in the district councils is little over ambitious. We better rationalize the affairs to minimize set backs or failures. Otherwise, the CE could have employed 50% females in his cabinet, NSC or as provincila governors etc.

                    Women in a country like ours are much less developed than men which may affect the quality of councils.

                    A fairer and more realistic approach would be to orientate on school enrolement ratio of girls and boys and in the beginning and apply the same to the district councils. This ratio may be modified proportionally in the successive elections as both genders develop.

                    Sure, some female members of waderas/khans/choudhrys would want to become a part of ditrict councils of which they have constitutional right like all other men. But we can only keep out the baddies by implying strict check. This needs a lots of thought, research and making of law and seeing them enforced in letter and spirit.



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                    Sarfraz Khan

                    Comment


                      #11
                      >>But we can only keep out the baddies by implying strict check. <<
                      how....?
                      who will do the checking...?

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                        #12
                        Of course the people who elect them must also exercise the right to check them.

                        I think we should wait till August 14 when the CE announces the detailed and finalized plan for district governments. Only then we will be able to pinpoint the minus and plus points.

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                        Sarfraz Khan

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yet another experiment which is bound to fail. It looks like another trick as played by a former general when he introduced "Basic Democracy" at district level. Since center would still be controlling the funds, devolving of power at district level means nothing. If CE is so much sincere in devolving the power, he should simply announce complete autonomy to provinces by keeping only defense, revenue and foreign policy at center. The rest of the departments like police, administration, Railways, Customs, Ports, air lines etc, be made only provincial subject matter with no interference of central government. Earning from each provinces be proportionately distributed according to their earnings rather than behaving one province as a big brother and grab more than the share what is due to it?

                          Sincerely,
                          FARID M

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yet another experiment which is bound to fail. It looks like another trick as played by a former general when he introduced "Basic Democracy" at district level. Since center would still be controlling the funds, devolving of power at district level means nothing. If CE is so much sincere in devolving the power, he should simply announce complete autonomy to provinces by keeping only defense, revenue and foreign policy at center. The rest of the departments like police, administration, Railways, Customs, Ports, air lines etc, be made only provincial subject matter with no interference of central government. Revenue from each province be proportionately distributed according to earning rather than behaving one province as a big brother and grab more than the share what is due to it?

                            Sincerely,
                            FARID M

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Finally the federal government has given the go ahead for their ambitous devolution plan. It is very much different from previous uch attempts (Ayub, Zia) in that it makes the police and bureacrats subserviant to the local elected administrations rather than federal appointees. Hence true devolution of power!
                              http://www.nation.com.pk/top1.htm

                              NSC, Cabinet okay devolution plan

                              The joint meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) and the Federal Cabinet on Saturday approved the plan on Devolution of Power and Responsibility under which the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) and District Management Group (DMG) are to become subservient to the proposed district governments.
                              "These two top civil service groups have been made subservient to the elected representatives of the people. Under the plan on Devolution of Power and Responsibility, the DMG and Police officers will be forced to become real public servants," a senior official told The Nation.
                              The official said it was necessary to do so in order to make the processes of government accessible to the people for the solution of their problems.
                              "This decision will go a long way in empowering the people," the official said.
                              He said under the local government scheme, as envisaged in the plan on Devolution of Power and Responsibility, every citizen could contest the Local Bodies (LBs) elections on non-party basis.
                              "However, those who are loan defaulters and are involved in corruption and corrupt practices will not be allowed to contest these elections," he said, adding that no restriction had been imposed on former members of the LBs for contesting the elections.
                              The official said legal cover would be provided to the local government plan. "If need be, this plan will be given constitutional cover through amendments in the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO)," he disclosed.
                              He said the reservations of all the provinces had been removed through amendments incorporated in the plan on Devolution of Power. "The provinces have no reservations regarding the plan," he maintained.
                              An official statement said the meeting, chaired by Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf, focussed on the role of police and administration vis-a-vis the proposed district governments under the devolution plan and took important decisions.
                              As the meeting resumed its proceedings on the second day, National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) Chairman Lt. Gen. (Retd) Tanveer Naqvi explained to the meeting the overall aims and objectives of the plan and highlighted its various aspects.
                              "The government wants solution to the people's problems at local level and to ensure the provision of speedy justice," an official statement said, quoting the Chief Executive.
                              He said the changes and reforms under the new system would help transform conventional and restrictive practices and procedures. "The new local government plan will establish the foundations of authentic and enduring democracy." Pervez Musharraf asked the NRB Chairman to prepare a consolidated package including the salient features of the plan to be announced by him on August 14.
                              He said the administration and police system was being reformed to make them responsive to public needs and requirements and making them efficient, effective and public service-oriented.
                              "The challenge is to strike a balance of power between the elected representatives and the government officials," the Chief Executive said during the deliberations on the plan.
                              Emphasizing the need for devolution of power and responsibility, the General said a basic attitudinal change was required. "The plan aims at making the people masters of their own destiny." The Chief Executive appreciated the job done by the NRB Chairman and said it was a Herculean task done in a very short time.
                              The meeting was attended by Governors of all the four provinces, four Corps Commanders, some senior officials of the Pakistan Army, Election Commission, NADRA, Chief Secretaries of the provinces and Chairman and senior members and officials of NRB.
                              The military government's ambitious plan on devolution will be translated into reality with the holding of phase-wise Local Bodies (LBs) elections beginning in December this year.
                              Under the NRB plan on devolution of power and responsibility, LBs elections in 18 districts of the country would be held in the first phase. The four-phase programme of holding LBs elections in the whole country is expected to complete by August 14, 2001.



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