Most of the newly-elected members of the Local Bodies aren’t happy with the Rules of Business framed by the provincial governments for their day to day functioning. They complain that powers are not being decentralised to them in the true sense of the word. The common man expects a lot from them but if they were not vested with necessary powers they would not be able to come up to his expectations and in that case they will be left with no option but to resign from their seats. In point of fact some of them have already threatened to resign if the administrative and financial powers are not transferred to them in accordance with the spirit of the constitution. Day in and day out the electronic media has been telecasting footage of the newly-elected members of the local bodies agitating for immediate transfer of powers to them.
It goes without saying that neither the federal nor the provincial governments wanted local bodies polls in their heart of hearts. It was the Supreme Court’s pressure that forced them to hold these elections. They knew that once the local bodies are in place many administrative and financial powers which hitherto were exercised by them would have to be transferred at the grass root level to the members of the local bodies. The MPAs and MNAs were apprehensive that crore of rupees which they now get annually for the so-called developmental activity inside their constituency might well be stopped and instead placed at the disposal of the local bodies. Nobody wants to kill with his own hands the goose that lays golden eggs for him.
Now that the local bodies have come into being the provincial governments are left with no other option but to transfer powers to the local bodies in letter and spirit. The earlier it is done the better for them as well as for the common man. However, there is also a need to bolster the institution of the Auditor General for effective monitoring of the financial matters of the local bodies for ensuring that nobody plays ducks and drakes with the taxpayers’ money.