NRB set to finalise changes to local laws
* Union councils to be given more power
* Public safety and complaint commission strengthened
By Mohammad Kamran
ISLAMABAD: The National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) is ready to pass draft amendments to the Local Governments Ordinance 2001 and the Police Order 2002 next week. These amendments are being passed to ensure the effective and smooth implementation of laws throughout the country, NRB sources told Daily Times on Sunday.
“A meeting of the National Implementation Body (NIB) particularly constituted to review controversial laws will hold a decisive session next week to finalise draft amendments to local laws,” a well-placed official at the NRB said.
President Musharraf constituted the implementation body with the aim of achieving harmony among different stakeholders of the new system regarding controversial local laws. It comprises the chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau, the Chief of Staff to the president, four provincial chief secretaries and the inspector general of police.
“The amendments basically relate to the working liaison between the district police and district nazims by making the police answerable to nazims,” NRB sources said. “Public safety commissions will be represented by members of the national and provincial assemblies.”
“The government also wants to give union councillors more powers, resources, funds and honoraria,” sources added. “Similarly the role of the newly proposed provincial Public Safety and Complaint Commission has been strengthened, making it the most powerful body in the local system.” He added that the commission has the power to register complaints against the police and redress public grievances against the police.
The amendments have been formulated in light of feedback received from different stakeholders of the local government system, said an NRB official, adding that the amendments would help invigorate the local system in the face of negative propaganda.
“The present government is committed to revolutionising society by empowering the people at the grass roots level,” the official said. “The district government is prepared for this enormous task.”
About the subsequent mode of amending the Local Government Ordinance 2001 and the Police Order 2002, sources said that each provincial assembly with a two-thirds majority would pass these amendments with the approval of the president.
“The approval of the president is a constitutional requirement and these legislations are a part of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution,” said the official. “Any legislation contained in the Sixth Schedule cannot be amended by legislators without the prior consent of the president.”