Gilgit-Baltistan: Legislation for a Local Governance Structure in GB

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GILGIT (ET): Consultations are in full swing in the city to create legislation for establishing a local government system in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).
The process started after a select committee, headed by Minister for Law Ali Madad Sher, sought United Nation Development Programme’s (UNDP) support in accordance with constitutional provisions.
The consultations are being facilitated by the Gilgit-Baltistan Policy Institute (GBPI), a non-profit organisation that won a bid advertised by UNDP for independent organisations to assist the government’s select committee a few months ago.
“Under the proposed structures, district councils will be named district governments, which will be headed by district nazims and deputy nazims,” said GBPI Director Programmes Altaf Hussain, while briefing a meeting held on Saturday.
In the last few days, members of various NGOs have held discussions with senior politicians from mainstream and regional parties, besides lawyers’ bodies, to make recommendations for the law that will ultimately be tabled in the G-B Assembly for approval.
“Another tier of a tehsil council has also been proposed as a supra structure above union councils (UC), comprising chairmen of UCs and municipal committees,” he said, explaining the recommendations will be submitted to the select committee.
Hussain said urban areas of G-B – Gilgit and Skardu – will be named City Municipal Corporations and will be headed by a mayor and deputy mayor.
Iman Shah, a journalist, suggested fixed tenures and salaries for members, including the mayor, so they are not involved in embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

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