Too much local bodies are not good for democracy: Ashraf

Govt has no plan to hold Zila Parishad polls
Necessity of it should be discussed at national level

ashraf picLGRD and Co-operatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said that the government has no plan to hold Zila Parishad elections.
“First it needs to be determined whether Zila Parishads are at all needed or not,” he told newsmen on Wednesday.
Too many local governments are not useful and additional branches of the government are not good for a democratic country, he opined.
His remarks came at the end of the session at the ministry on the second day of the conference of the Deputy Commissioners (DCs).
Asked whether Zila Parishads would be made defunct, he said, “This is a matter of consideration. Everything must be evaluated. No government is absolute.”
National level discussions were needed before finalising the decision to dissolve the Zila Parishads, Ashraf said and added, the Awami League government has been emphasising decentralisation of the administration.
Despite Ashraf’s current stance, it was the then Awami League government that had promulgated the ‘Zila Parishad Act’ in 2000 to ‘strengthen the local governments’.
A Zila Parishad, or district council, consists of a chairman, 15 members and five reserved seat women members. All of them are elected by the public representatives of the other local government bodies of the relevant district.
Apart from the three districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Zila Parishads in 61 districts are currently run by government-appointed deputy commissioners.
Syed Ashraf, however, laid emphasis on strengthening Union Parishads. –Staff Reporter

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