Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) cabinet has approved the schedule of local bodies’ elections in the province.
It has been decided to hold the elections in phases and in the first phase village and neighbourhood council level elections will be held. In the second phase, tehsil council level elections will be conducted across the province.
Talking to mediapersons here on Thursday, Special Assistant to CM on Information and Higher Education Kamran Bangash said that the decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
He said that the decision will be shared with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the final outcome will be made public soon.
He said that the provincial cabinet has also approved Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Land Use and Building Control Authority Bill 2021.
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As directed by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, land use planning of six big cities has been completed whereas the Master Plan of 20 cities is in the process of completion, he said, hoping that this legislation will not only put an end to unplanned urbanisation but will also help save agriculture lands in cities.
He claimed that K-P was the first province to set up an authority for proper utilization of land. He said this will hopefully lead to the beautification of cities as well as put an end to the use of fertile agriculture land for commercial purposes. Bangash said, “We will try our best to ensure urban planning of international standard.”
Expressing his views about local bodies elections, Bangash said, local bodies election will be held with the village council and neighborhood council in the 1st phase and the tehsil council in the second phase. “Cabinet Committee will soon meet Election Commission and the final decision will be made public,” he said.
He said that the cabinet also approved Waqf Properties Amendment Bill 2021 which will discourage the lease and extension of Waqf property at throwaway prices. He said that Auqaf Department so far has retrieved 4000 kanal of land, generating a revenue of more than Rs5 billion.
This amended bill will lead to more revenue generation when passed by the assembly,” he hoped.
Expressing his views about other decisions of the cabinet, he said the Levies Force of the ex-PATA, retired as per Home Department’s notification of March 22, 2021, had been reinstated by the cabinet on humanitarian ground.
He said the cabinet also approved in principle Public Properties Amendment Bill, 2021 whereas the Serena Hotel lease has been extended for 30 years, however, rates of the lease will be determined by a special committee.
The cabinet also empowered the special committee to look into other options as well. The cabinet also approved the signing of MoU between the Chinese province Siachvan and K-P police.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2021.