Comparative Analysis of Local Government Laws in Pakistan

Briefing Paper

The Briefing Paper Comparative Analysis of Local Government Laws in Pakistan has been prepared to provide information to political party officials on the legal remit of local  governments and the ongoing debate on possible reforms in local governments system in the four provinces.

The paper comparatively examines the 4 provincial local government laws primarily  focusing on the following:

1. Comparison of the local government structures
2. Comparison of the election process of the local governments
3. Comparison of the municipal functions
4. Comparison of fiscal powers

The Constitution of Pakistan makes it obligatory for the Federal and Provincial authorities to devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility to the Local Governments. A  cornerstone of the process of devolution is empowering people at the grassroots, and this obligation is encapsulated in Article 140-A, and to a lesser extent, in Article 37. While most countries adopt Local Government systems due to necessity and multilateral pressure, Pakistan has marginalized Local Governments time and time again, with the result that a uniform and effective system of local governance has not yet evolved in Pakistan.

This paper presents a comparative analysis of existing Local Government Laws in terms of their administrative and fiscal powers.

This Briefing Paper has been authored by Ms. Aasiya Riaz, Joint Director, PILDAT.