DCO's letter sparks anger in Hyderabad district council -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

DCO’s letter sparks anger in Hyderabad district council

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad district council session here on Tuesday saw anger and protest from the members over a letter of the district coordination officer (DCO) claiming that the Sindh Local Government Ordinance (SLGO) says the presence of officials in every session is not required.

The members raised objections to the letter written in reply to a letter of the council officer regarding the rulings of the convener based on the complaints of members that officials are not attending sessions of the council.

The council met with District Naib Nazim and Convener Zafar Ali Rajput in the chair.

Presenting the letter to the House, the convener said that the district council being the supreme institution of the district has time and again showed its dismay over the officer’s absence from the sessions.

He said that despite rulings, the officer didn’t attend the sessions. He added that the letter of the DCO actually challenges the authority of the district council.

However, he said the letter does not mention rules and regulations of the ordinance.

DCO Mohammed Hussein Syed said in the letter that according to law/by-laws, mandatory presence of government officers (EDOs) in each and every meeting of district council is not required.

However, he said if there is any “starred question” on the agenda or any matter forwarded by the district government to the council for approval, the EDO concerned or his subordinate officer (district officer or deputy district officer) will attend the meeting to brief the council or reply to three oral questions of the member who has asked the starred question.

Replies to ordinary or lengthy starred questions received from EDOs have to be tabled by the convener, he said.

Zahida Memon said the DCO is not sitting in the office and added that the council is the only place where members could raise their problems.

Sajida Baloch said in case the DCO is not able to attend the council session, he may go on leave. He asked the Chair to suspend the agenda and discuss this issue as a top priority.

Yameen Soomro said the district council is supreme as compared to other institutions and officers and added that the letter doesn’t mention any rule of the local government ordinance.

Ashraf Munna and Abbas Khan said the letter is an insult to the council and the House should be postponed until the DCO comes to the council and tenders an apology.

Ishtiaq Ahmed said the administration and the council are two wheels of the district government. He was of the view that the letter was sent without looking into rules and laws of the SLGO.

Q Hakim, quoting sections 28(D) and 29(C), said the DCO is only responsible to coordinate and EDOs are responsible for providing information to the monitoring committees. He said the presence of officers is not necessary.

Convener Zafar Rajput said this is not his personal issue and the House is only discussing the letter. He added that being the custodian of the council he would safeguard the honour and dignity of the House.
Source: The News
Date:2/21/2007