Municipal Corporation Peshawar: Officials fight over financial powers
PESHAWAR, Feb 20: Senior officials of the recently-revived Municipal Corporation Peshawar are at odds over administrative and financial powers after its bifurcation into zones, according to the relevant officials.
The revival of the old local government system at the start of the current year had led to the division of Peshawar into MCP and District Council Peshawar.
And since MCP was to cover a vast area, it was divided into two zones for the convenience of visitors.
As a result, the urban union councils of the erstwhile Town I&II were declared Zone-I and the urban union councils of Town-III Zone-II.
Javed Amjad already appointed the MCP administrator prior to the corporation’s bifurcation was made in charge of Zone-I and senior officer Noor Daraz Khattak deputy administrator of Zone-II.
The officials told Dawn on Wednesday that legally speaking, before the appointment of the Zone-II deputy administrator, it was believed that he would work as subordinate to the administrator and deal with financial and administrative affairs of small nature.
However, according to them, the local government and rural development department, while notifying the posting of Noor Daraz Khattak as the deputy administrator, also declared him as the drawing and disbursement officer of Zone-II, causing confrontation between the administrator and deputy administrator.
The officials said if the deputy administrator was free in making all administrative and financial decisions, then it meant that he was not the deputy administrator and rather a full administrator.
They asked how ‘two administrators’ could be posted to MCP.
When contacted, MCP administrator Javed Amjad said no one could draw money from the account of the corporation without his consent.
“In Zone-I, official cheques are required to bear two signatures one mine and second that of the Zone-I chief municipal officer,” he said.
Mr Amjad added in Zone-II, official cheques were to be signed by him and the deputy administrator.
He said actually the deputy director was working as the chief municipal officer and was not free to take decisions.
When asked about the LG&RDD declaring the deputy director Zone-II the drawing and disbursement officer, the MCP administrator said the notification in this retrospect had not been issued according to the law. He said he had taken up the matter with adviser to chief minister on LG&RDD Haroon Bilour, who promised the early withdrawal of the said notification.
“A corrigendum will be issued in this respect,” he said.
Mr Amjid said the law didn’t allow the deputy director to use more than Rs4,000 funds without the administrator’s approval.
When contacted, MCP Zone-II deputy director Noor Daraz Khattak claimed that there was no confusion in the notification about his posting as it had clearly authorised him to take decisions independently. He said MCP was divided in two zones for administrative and public convenience.
“If I am not independent in taking decisions, then tell me why MCP was divided into zones,” he said. LG&RDD secretary Aurangzeb Khan was not available for comments.