Development funds of local govts frozen ahead of general elections

development funds

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has frozen the development funds for all local government departments nationwide. This freeze extends until the announcement of the general election results.

ECP’s notification explicitly prohibits the initiation of any local development schemes or related activities throughout the country.

The directive includes a suspension on tenders and contract awards by local governments and cantonment boards until the conclusion of the general elections. While the day-to-day affairs of sanitation and cleanliness will continue, the announcement or execution of any local development scheme is strictly forbidden.

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Previously, the ECP had implemented a ban on appointments and transfers affecting federal, provincial, and local institutions alike. The Secretary of the Election Commission had communicated this decision to the caretaker governments in all four provinces, including the Federation.

Furthermore, the ECP ordered the retrieval of official vehicles from former ministers, advisors, and assistants, emphasising similar actions for assembly members who were instructed to vacate official residences.

The Commission also directed the termination of employment for political figures appointed in various institutions, seeking detailed asset disclosures from the caretaker prime minister, chief ministers, and cabinet members.

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While the caretaker governments are permitted to manage daily affairs in accordance with the law, implementing ongoing international and bilateral agreements, the Election Commission has set clear restrictions.

The Provincial Election Commissioners have communicated these restrictions to the Chief Secretary of Punjab, IG, and all relevant authorities, outlining instructions for the supervisory setup across the four provinces. – INP

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