Sindh govt freezes LG bodies’ bank accounts | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

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Sindh govt freezes LG bodies’ bank accounts

Notification to dissolve current LG set-up likely today

By Fasahat Mohiuddin

Karachi: The Sindh government has frozen the bank accounts of all local government organisations in the province, The News has learnt.

This step follows the passage of the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill-2010, which got official status after the Governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad assented to it on Thursday. The provincial government will now appoint administrators, who will take on the role of Nazims and other elected local representatives until elections are held in 120 days – as has been agreed in the bill.

The government, said sources, has issued directions that no transactions are to be carried out in these accounts till further orders.

Meanwhile, the provincial chief secretary returned from Islamabad on Thursday, and it is expected that a notification to formalise the dissolution of the local government system will be issued today (Friday).

In related developments, the Sindh local government secretary has convened a meeting of all the town municipal officers (TMOs) of the province, including Karachi, at his office on Friday. The TMOs have also directed to bring with them a four-year progress report as well as a balance sheet of all accounts. The TMOs have also been asked to produce a certificate that no embezzlement or any irregularity took place after October 16, 2009, when the provincial government had imposed a ban on local governments.

When The News sought the comments of a TMO from Karachi in this regard, he said that he will comply with the orders, but these directives had not been received as yet. Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani was unavailable for comment. The names of Fazlur Rehman (the incumbent local government secretary and former Karachi DCO) and Syed Hashim Raza Zaidi (former health secretary and currently awaiting a posting) are doing the rounds as forerunners for the post of Karachi administrator.

Sources told The News that once consensus is reached, one of the two individuals is likely to assume charge on Monday. The name of the incumbent DCO, Javed Hanif Khan, who was being previously considered the forerunner for the administrator’s post, seems to have now been omitted from the shortlist, sources said. Khan will either be assigned another job or he will continue in his current capacity, sources added.

Rehman has been working with City Nazim Mustafa Kamal, and according to the Nazim, he has put in “great efforts” for the development of the city and also has a good liaison with the media. Zaidi is believed to be close to Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, and political analysts feel that he might get the nod as he will be acceptable to Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
Source: The News
Date:2/19/2010