An all-powerful CM to make his debut? | Pakistan Today

An all-powerful CM to make his debut?

The Punjab Cabinet is all set to amend the rules of business to seize more powers from the governor and hand it over to the chief minister in its meeting today (Thursday), Pakistan Today has learnt. Sources privy to the development revealed that all ground work has been completed by the administrative departments concerned and the cabinet has just to approve the conversion of the governor’s quota for allotment of plots into the chief minister’s quota in today’s meeting. According to details, plots above 5 to 10 marlas were disposed of under section 4 (b)(1) and (2) of Disposal of Land by Development Authorities (Regulations) Act 1998. The authority vests in the governor to make allotments under the act to individuals with permanent disability while performing state duties or voluntary work.
However, the law department observed, “Section 4(b) of the act vests the authority to allot plots to disabled persons in the governor/GHQ. The CM said that this does not match the democratic principles and hence the HUD&PHED should consider appropriate amendments.” Sources said that the CM has also approved the law department’s proposal and “amendment in Section 4 of the Act 1998 where the word governor should be replaced by the CM”, while the cabinet “should approve the amendment”.
Experts view this as a step towards further empowering the office of the chief minister vis-à-vis the governor, which became highly powerful during the days of former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf. Ever since the advent of the democratic setup the powers were being shifted to the CM especially after the 18th Constitutional Amendment where several appointing powers, earlier vested in the governor, were given to the CM. Moreover, they said it was also a part of the tug of war ongoing between the two high offices in the Punjab with earlier incidents of rifts as well. “There has been witnessed a rift between the two offices earlier as well when the issue of appointment of vice chancellors of various universities came to surface as both the CM and governor differed on their choice of the top academicians across Punjab. This can also prove to be another such episode where the two important offices again lock horns,” they added.

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