ARTICLE 140-A says that “Each province shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments”. This essentially means decentralization of power and authority by the provinces to the local governments for good governance to increase efficiency and coverage in the provision of local public goods and service delivery. Article 140-A captures the essence of what decentralization is all about. Decentralization is a process of transferring decision- making, functions, responsibilities and resources at the local level. It is a critical feature of governance and ensures greater transparency and accountability. It is a way of empowerment and a vital component of good governance and development. As a key public sector reform strategy, it supplements democratic culture and is an instrumental factor for efficient service delivery. Moreover, strengthening local bodies and empowering citizens is the main agenda of the present government. Recently, the Prime Minister Imran Khan underlined that decentralization of power is the foundation stone of good governance and a key to improve service delivery. The decentralization at grass roots level brings greater efficiency, social equity and timely delivery of essential services to citizens. Similarly, many local governments witness deterioration in the service delivery due to weak financial and administrative capacity as well as because of political constraints, and, hence is never a completely seamless process Decentralization reforms vary from country to country, and there are many ways in which a government may transfer power to the local governments. Some opt for decentralization to reduce the size of the government. Others want to make meaningful public engagement and accountability in government decision making. Another reason is to improve public service delivery by allowing citizens to participate more effectively in the matters of local public services and attention to local concerns. The decentralization impacted differently in different countries. Here the question arises that does a decentralized system deliver more efficiency than a centralized one? In broad brush terms, the main principle of decentralization is that people are given opportunities to be a part of the decision-making process, which is related to them, and have influence on their lives. The engagement of people at the local level creates public space where citizens have an important and adequate role in political, administrative and financial affairs. Similarly, if a government comes closer to the people, they actively engage themselves in all activities instead of being passive recipients. It helps towards fair distribution of benefits and inculcates sense of belonging, self-efficacy and well-being through shared agenda and collective action planning. The decentralization is also regarded as a key part of sustainable development efforts mainly those concentrating on alleviating poverty. The government being closer to the people is better informed about local priorities and can be in a position to allocate resources and deliver public goods and services in a more targeted and equitable manner. This, however, is not possible without decentralization of power and authority. Furthermore, sustainability of various development programmes at the local level is ensured. The devolved governance leads to effective partnership promoting social, cultural and economic transformation. It increases institutional legitimacy and acknowledges the role of citizens, and, in turn, they will be more ready and willing to accept the authority of the government. So, the decentralized system of government is more likely to contribute in enhancing efficiency and improving delivery of social and economic services to meet people’s needs than its centralized counterpart. On the other hand, the centralized form of governance espouses elite capture focussing only on a small powerful group of people having authority and power. People at the grass roots level have a very little role in the decision-making and policy formulation. In “elite capture tragedy”, the majority is excluded and the interests of only a few powerful segments in the society are promoted. It distances the people from the institutions and the state, which is not in accordance with the view the deepening democracy presents. The elitist model stresses on the centrality of power, which has no linkages with local needs and aspirations of the people. However, decentralization is by no means always a positive experience as the practice in the past remained a lacklustre, and could not fulfill its promise. Many experts argue that it had further strengthened the prestige and power of the local landowners. In most of the cases the elected nazims were not ordinary citizens but powerful landowners. This, however, did not produce desirable results. Besides that, the increased decentralization results in creation of many centres of power entailing an uneven impact on public policy issues. Serious inequalities such as lack of full autonomy in decision making at the local government level persist even after the introduction of reforms. Similarly, many local governments witness deterioration in the service delivery due to weak financial and administrative capacity as well as because of political constraints, and, hence is never a completely seamless process. Structural and legislative barriers are considered other pertinent issues. More importantly, the relations of Provincial and Local governments among themselves and with the Federal government are the most significant of these for effective governance to deliver efficiently and successfully. To overcome such challenges, huge resources, capacity building and strengthening of institutions and organizations are required. Although the decentralization experience has been hugely challenging, these concerns have to be addressed for the smooth journey towards decentralization. Against this backdrop what is needed is the policy reforms conducive to all stakeholders to achieve sustainable and socially equitable governance, despite enormous challenges. Most importantly is, therefore, to create awareness to the people through education and non-formal means, that have direct bearing on public welfare. This urges the need for a thoughtful strategy coupled with strong political will, discipline and pragmatism better aligned with the specific context and conditions that reflect the country's circumstances, experience and national values. Zafar Ali Buledi (Chevening Scholar) Studied Public Administration at the University of Brighton-UK, and presently serving as Provincial Secretary in Government of Balochistan.