The Extent of Devolution: A Comparative Analysis of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Acts 2013
Author: Tauqir Shahzad Saleem

In the light of 18th Constitutional Amendment and in response to Constitution of Pakistan (Article 140-A), Local Government (LG) Acts have been devised and approved in 2013by the provincial assemblies. In this study, LG Acts 2013 of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) have been analyzed on the political, administrative and fiscal aspects along with explaining the composition and functions of this tier of governance. The LG Acts of Punjab and KPK (2013) provide the foundations to fill the governance gap at the local level by providing space to the elected representatives, right from the District to the Union Council level. In this analysis, we also found certain shortcomings in the LG Acts. The traces of military-installed and military operated local governments still feature in Local Governments structures and functions as proposed by the Acts of 2013. Provincial governments still hold substantial powers to intervene and control the affairs of local governments in both the provinces. The Local Government Acts of Punjab and KPK allow the Chief Ministers to dismiss any of the elected representatives at any level in the hierarchy. The matter of holding an inquiry about ‘corruption, misconduct, bribery, and misuse of public funds of the respective local council’ is unclear in the said acts. In Punjab, for instance, health and education are managed by the provincial government. Rest of the basic services in both the provinces are devolved to the local government. But in terms of financial resources, local governments depend on provincial governments for financial allocations. Revenue collection in both the provinces has also been shifted back to the provincial governments. For resource allocation, Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) Fund and Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) Award are established to finance the local governments. The Provincial governments of Punjab and KPK need to institutionalize their powers of regulation, standardization, monitoring, legislation and periodical audits of the local governments. A comprehensive chapter needs to be promulgated in the fundamental principles of local governance that should allow greater autonomy and certainty to the Local Governments. Supervisor:- Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad

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Supervisor: Iftikhar Ahmad

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