Provincial minister for law, parliamentary affairs and local government Raja Basharat said that the new local bodies will receive direct funds of 40 billion rupees annually from the government to identify and execute their own projects. The LG system will bring self-reliance and sustainability among the local bodies of Punjab, he said while sharing the salient features of new local government system being introduced in the Punjab. He was talking to media persons in Punjab Assembly on Saturday while giving briefing on the upcoming session of the Punjab Assembly starting from Monday. He was of the view that the upcoming session of Punjab Assembly commencing from Monday would contain great importance with respect to new five bills and couple of ordinances. The most important bill titled “Punjab Local Government Bill-2019” will ensure public autonomy and sustainable development at grass root level, said Basharat. The minister for local government said on the occasion that the new LG system will be a reflection of PM Imran Khan and CM Usman Buzdar’s vision who wanted to see their public empowered at grass-root level. He further added that the Punjab LG Act 2013 will be repelled after the approval of new LG Bill-2019 from Punjab Assembly. 40 bn would be given to LGs annually for development projects: Raja Basharat He was of the view that the new system has two tiers i.e. Tehsil Council and Municipal Corporation/Town Committee and Neighborhood Council and Punchayat with abolition of district council and union council of previous system. “Each village of Punjab will have independent local body known as ‘Punchayat’ while urban population will have Neighborhood Council at ‘Mohallah’ level,” said the minister. First time in the history, the minorities of Punjab will be enabled to elect their own head and representatives of their respective local bodies, he added. According to Raja, the representatives of Tehsil Councils and Municipal Corporations will come through party-based elections while there will be non-party based elections for the Punchayat and Neighborhood Councils of Punjab. “The working relationship between the LDA, WASA and local government will be strengthened after the passage of new local government bill as the general public is suffering these days due to non-cooperation between these institutions,” said Raja Basharat. There are 274 members of Lahore Metropolitan Corporation right now and pandemonium is seen in the every session of the Metropolitan and therefore there would be only 50 or 55 members in the assembly of new Metropolitan Corporation after new local government system, he said. PML-N free to go to courts against the bill: minister When asked that the Mayor of Lahore has warned that he will not let the government to repeal the existing LG system, the minister said that it is the constitutional right of the government to do legislation and therefore new LG system will be introduced come what may. Every citizen and PML-N is free to move in the court against the new LG system being introduced by our government in Punjab, he said. He said that the deputy commissioners will not have any interference in the new local bodies and the local government representatives would be empowered to supervise the education and health sectors. Speaking on the occasion, minister for law and local government also congratulated the newly elected President Mian Aslam and Secretary Faizan Bangash of Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Committee. It would be 9th session of the ongoing Punjab Assembly that will start from Monday April 22 in which 2 ordinances and five bills would be introduced.