PESHAWAR  -  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Local Government and rural development Inayatullah Khan has said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is determined to hold Local Bodies polls in October as directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Talking to the media, he said that administrative, financial and political autonomy should be given to the people through the Local Bodies village council. He said that under the new system, village council will be comprised 4,000 to 8,000 persons and its leader will be chairman and vice chairman. He said the KPK government would prepare a draft of Local Bodies Bill till the end of current month and would try to hold the polls at October end.

In this connection, the provincial Local Government and Rural Development Department has written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for consultation and preparation regarding the upcoming local bodies' elections.

He said that the working group would hold meetings on daily basis from July 22 to accelerate work on the reforms. He said that the local government department had already tasked the working group to prepare the feasibility report regarding the village councils.

The minister said that the elections would be held under the new law and not under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Ordinance, 2001 while amendments would be made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act 2012. He informed that operational preparations for the elections would be discussed in detail during a joint meeting with the ECP officials. "There will be new delimitation of the village councils, which will be the strong unit in new local government system," he added.

He said that the provincial government had accelerated efforts on two sides, the working group would prepare reforms and legislation and discuss preparation for elections with the ECP from time to time.

He mentioned that delimitation of village councils would be an extensive exercise to be started after the government directives, which is a very serious and difficult task to accomplish.

The LG department so far has done delimitation of the union councils prior to different local bodies' elections in past, while the delimitation of the village councils will be made for the first time. Minimum time for delimitation of the village councils was 45 days, he said, adding it could take more days because of the new concept.

He said that officials of the Local Government and Rural Development Department, district administration and local council board would be involved in the delimitation process.

In the light of delimitation conducted in the past, he said that once the delimitation was completed the relevant officials would display the lists of different local councils in the respective areas and in the offices of deputy commissioners for public information. "A revised list after the complaints, reservations and suggestions of the local people being heard would be displayed at the same places for public information," he said.