New LG system to empower people'

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‘Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the new local government system will help empower people.
He said this while presiding over a meeting of the federal capital’s new local government system. During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed on the proposed new local government system.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Establishment Arbab Shahzad, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan, PTI leader Asad Umer, Raja Khurram Nawaz and others.
The PM applauds suggestions on new system of local government for federal capital.
The meeting briefed that in the new local government system, the mayor will be elected through direct election and the mayor would be given responsibility for the development projects of the capital and daily affairs.
Earlier today, PM Imran Khan has taken notice of difficulties being faced by the protesters of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) anti-government Azadi March due to rain and changing weather conditions.
In a post on social-networking website Twitter, the premier has directed the chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to immediately visit the area and provide all the facilities to the protesters, who are holding sit-in on Kashmir Highway in federal capital, Islamabad.
The statement came after marchers shifted their camps to concrete surfaces following intermittent rain in the metropolis.
On the other hand, deadlock between government and opposition committees has continued to persist as the first round of talks on Azadi March ended without any progress.
Denfence Minister and head of government’s committee Pervaiz Khattak said that both committees have agreed on many things and we are trying to find a way out. He said Rehbar committee must talk to its leaders as we are always ready for dialogues.
Head of Rehbar Committee Akram Durrani on the occasion said we are firmly sticking to our demands.
Earlier on Tuesday, government’s negotiation committee held meeting with Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan in Islamabad for consultation on contacts with opposition parties.
During the meeting, the PM said that the government is ready to accept opposition‘s legal demands under law and constitution if it shows seriousness for negotiations.
Agencies add: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the authorities concerned in the federal capital and two provinces — Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — to thrash out a plan to provide relief to the masses and ensure stability in prices of essential commodities. “Such a system should be devised that ensures no additional burden is put on the common man,” the prime minister was quoted as saying during a meeting on Wednesday.
According to the Prime Minister Office (PMO), the meeting was attended, among others, by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, the federal secretary interior, the chief secretaries of Punjab and KP, and the chief commissioner of Islamabad.
The prime minister issued a directive for launch of a crackdown against hoarders and profiteers and the use of latest technology for the purpose.
He was of the view that surprise inspection of wholesale markets must be ensured and people should be kept apprised about prices.
Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed the need for transparency in auction of fruits and vegetables in wholesale markets so that no one could deprive farmers of their income and reward for hard work.
The participants discussed a proposal for formation of market committees to control profiteering and hoarding.
“Provision of Roti (bread) is a responsibility of the state and therefore all-out efforts should be made in this regard,” the prime minister said.
He revealed that the government was considering a proposal for provision of essential commodities to deserving families under the Ehsas programme.
The chief secretaries of Punjab and KP briefed the participants on prices in their provinces and the action being taken against hoarders and profiteers.
The meeting decided to address grievances of Nanbais (roti makers) after it was apprised about their reservations over the price stipulated by the government.
Ease of Doing Business In a separate meeting Prime Minister Khan directed the Board of Investment (BOI) to complete the consultation process with stakeholders for streamlining and simplifying laws related to doing business.
He called for completing the process of “guillotining” unnecessary regulations as soon as possible so as to improve ease of doing business.
The meeting, which focused on removal of regulatory hurdles, was attended by the Adviser on Commerce, Mr Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain, BOI Chairman Zubair Gilani, Punjab Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and the World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan.
The prime minister said special attention should be paid to promotion of digital economy and digital solutions should be offered to firms in the information technology sector.
He said facilitating investors and increasing ease of doing business were among the government’s priorities. “Automation of the regulatory procedure and online availability of required information will help businesses run smooth operations,” he added.
The prime minister was informed that in compliance with his directives, the ministries of petroleum and housing, the power division and BOI would present their proposals for removal of unnecessary regulatory hurdles in their jurisdiction.
He directed all other divisions to come up with similar plans at the earliest.
Speaking on the occasion, BOI Chairman Zubair Gilani said an extensive stakeholders’ consultation process was under way for removing hurdles in doing business. This process involves elimination of irrelevant or obsolete regulations, review of existing regulatory framework and amendment in existing laws.
The meeting was informed that a digital “Business Regulatory Mapping Portal” had been designed to ensure transparency and accuracy in transactions through e-commerce.
The prime minister was apprised by Punjab’s industries minister that the provincial government had undertaken a number of initiatives to facilitate businesses. Among them are unifying of taxes, eliminating inspection, offering one-window facilitation and introducing the Punjab Smart Regulation Act.