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Local Govt. and Rural Development.

Byline: Haseeb Baloch

140 new development schemes have introduced in new FY budget of 2021 - 22. Local government and rural development has great importance in service delivery. Collectively over 22 billion rupees have allocated for the development of rural and local government sector. According to the blue print of budget around 18 billion rupees for no development while four billions have allocated as development funds. Grant in aid has also enhanced from 12 billion to 16 billion rupees.

Local government system always plays a prominent role to play in promoting economic development, but one that evades a singular model. This poses a distinct challenge to higher tiers of government in terms of how they interface with specific councils as well as how councils interface with their stakeholders.

Local governments can initiate a community's economic planning efforts, to build on their official community plan and role of shaping community growth and determining land use. The Local Government system is best described as grass root representative democracy with all Institutional system.

The Local Government System contains the basic features of the local government system that was in vogue in 1980s and 1990s. The 'Local Government Structure' constitutes the third level of Government. First and second being the Federal and Provincial Governments. In pursuance of Articles 7 and 32 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Local Government activities are to be made operative through elected representatives.

The domain of Local Government encompasses virtually every problem and affairs that a common man experiences in his day to day life. From birth to death, from water supply, sanitation and education to marriage, disposal of refuse, roads, town planning etc. For the sake of brevity, suffice to say that most of utilities and services necessary for life in a civilized society are extended by Local Government Department. AGROVILLES are conceived to be relatively self-contained urban settlements designed to ensure a more rational spread of urbanization in the country and to serve the surrounding rural areas. Agrovilles' aim is to take urban facilities to rural areas.

Local Government oversees the operation of the local government system, providing the policy framework within which local authorities work and deliver services to the communities that they represent and serve. The department also supports local government in its role of promoting the well-being and quality of life of citizens and communities through the efficient performance of functions and delivery of good-value services at local level. Local government is responsible for a range of vital services for people and businesses in defined areas. Among them are well known functions such as social care, schools, housing and planning and waste collection.

Local governance is an integral pillar for service delivery, state and community representation and responsiveness. It provides effective control and outreach at the tehsil and village level. Despite constitutional requirements, the local government structure is non-existent in Balochistan. Absence of local governments not only creates a void in local political representation but also hampers efficient service delivery. Local governments by design enjoy tremendous access to grassroots communities and can play an instrumental role in any challenging situation.

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Author:Haseeb Baloch
Publication:The Balochistan Express (Quetta, Pakistan)
Date:Jul 9, 2021
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