ISLAMABAD: The Local Government (LG) elections scheduled to be held on December 31 is likely to be delayed as the Ministry of Interior has forwarded a summary to the federal cabinet seeking an increase in the number of union councils (UCs) in the federal capital.

According to the summary, there are 101 UCs in the capital territory based on 2017 census. However, the capital’s population has increased by 2.5 million which pushes the need for having more UCs. The number of UCs should be increased to 125 based on current population metrics, it says.

It says that Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act was promulgated in 2015 to establish an elected local government system to devolve political, administrative and financial authority in order to promote good governance and effective service delivery through institutionalized participation and involvement of people in day-to-day governance. The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is a municipal body established under the ICT Local Government Act, of 2015, it says.

According to the summary, administrator MCI has informed that the present number of UCs has been fixed as 101 on the basis of the census 2017. However, the population of Islamabad has increased to 205 million approximately after a lapse of five years. Therefore, it is appropriate that number of UCs may be enhanced to 125.

It says Sections 4 (1) and 6 (1) of the ICT Local Government Act, 2015, empowers the federal government to determine the number of UC within the Islamabad Capital Territory through notification published in the official gazette (Annex-1). The last notification issued by this ministry with the approval of the Cabinet fixed the number of Union Councils as 101, it says.

Official sources said that the notification is likely to approve through circulation