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Budget session of MCR ends in ruckus

Rawalpindi : Defying Supreme Court of Pakistan orders, the management of Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi did not allow the incumbent mayor and other constituents of the local body government to enter the premises of the corporation to hold a session of the house on Thursday and present the budget for the next fiscal year.

Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan, Deputy Mayor Chaudhry Tariq Mehmood and all other members of the house besides staging a sit-in at the gate of MCR also arranged an open-air session in the parking area of MCR.

It merits mentioning here that on March 25, the apex court ordered the restoration of local government institutions in the province after declaring their dissolution as “unconstitutional”. But, the Punjab government is yet to issue a notification in this regard. Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) has the support of 40 union council chairmen among the total of 46 union councils. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had three union councils, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) has two union councils while Awami Muslim League (AML) has only one UC. However, after winning the National Assembly seat, Sheikh Rashid Shafique left the RMC seat.

All members of the house under the leadership of Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan raised slogans against the Punjab government for not implementing orders of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit. All officers including Chief Officer (CO) Metropolitan Corporation Rawalpindi were not present on their seats on the occasion. A heavy contingent of police was present all around MCR to avoid any untoward incident. Addressing the members of the house Mayor Sardar Naseem Khan said that they had filed an application with the commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief officer MCR offices to hold a session here at Jinnah Hall. “But, MCR management locked all gates on Thursday,” he said adding three days ago, we had informed all concerned officials to hold a session but in vain.

Sardar Naseem said that the meeting of all union council chairmen was held to chalk out the plan to approve the budget of the civic body while officials had been informed about the session.

“The budget had been prepared wit consultation with the union council chairmen of the city,” he said, adding the opposition PPP had also been consulted for the budget session. He said the details of development and expenditures from March 25, 2021, to May 31, 2021, would be presented as SC restored the local government from March 25. He said that the annual budget would be presented for 2021-22.

The mayor also said that all moves of MCR after March 25 were illegal and unconstitutional in light of the Supreme Court decision. The citizens of the city are waiting for redressal of their grievances but the Punjab government is not serious to pay heed to their problems, he denounced.

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