LAHORE - Punjab government in compliance with the Supreme Court directions will hold Local Bodies elections by September 15 next, said Provincial Minister for Law and Local Governments Rana Sana Ullah Khan while addressing a press conference on Friday.

Responding to queries, the Law Minister said that the matter of holding LG polls by the deadline of September 15 next as set by the SC, was discussed at the advisory committee of the Punjab Assembly the same day and it was found that holding election within this time is quite possible.

The Minister shed light on the salient features of the LG bill which has been tabled before the Punjab Assembly and said it will be transacted into a law by August 15 next after thorough debate in the House. He said the best LG law has been prepared to create a balanced system with focus on addressing the public woes efficiently and at the earliest at the grass root level.

To a question that separate constitution of the District Education and District Health Authorities amounts to running a system within the system, the Minister said that both the authorities will be represented by the elected members and have been constituted to meet demand of the donors who provide assistance in these areas. To a question that Mayor of the Metropolitan Corporation and the Municipal Corporation and Chairman of the District Committee will act at the pleasure of the Chief Minister who would also be authorised to suspend them on misconduct, Rana Sana said this was not a new concept but the previous law also contained this provision. However he said this time, it has been made more stringent as the Chief Minister as Chief Executive of the Province will exercise his powers in this regard only on the recommendations of the Provincial Local Government Commission.

The minister informed that the new law will supplant the DCOs with Deputy Commissioners. He said the executive magistracy through the law will not be restored however that will be done with the passage of time.

The minister denied when a questioner asked if the system is going to establish supremacy of the bureaucracy over the elected members as none of the office and police would be subject to their command.

The Minister invited the media, the civil society and the public large to come forward and share input to the betterment and improvement of the LG law if they find any grey area anywhere therein.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the PML-Q Parliamentary party Punjab rejecting the Local Government Bill has decided to contact other Opposition parties for launching a joint move against the inception of the Local Government Act.

Deputy Parliamentary leader of PML-Q, Waqas who chaired the meeting, also met with Opposition leader, Mehmood-ur-Rasheed on Friday to discuss a joint strategy to block Treasury for getting approval of Local Government Bill from the House. PML-Q leadership was of the view that some parts of the proposed bill were in conflict with the Constitution, while the bill empowers the bureaucracy instead of local representatives.

They said that PML-N government desires a Local Government system which was restricted only to the duty of arranging welcome receptions for the provincial Chief Executive and Ministers.