Union Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar will lead a 57-member delegation team to Pakistan so as to attend a symposium on local self and good governance and accountability.
During the three-day visit to Lahore beginning on July 1, 2007 the Indian delegation will discuss issues such as the legal framework of local governments, the history and results of Indian and Pakistani local government systems with focus on constitutional, legal, democratic, financial and administrative empowerment besides experience sharing of local-governance. The two countries had on June 7, 2005 agreed to constitute a joint working group on local governance to share the experiences of the local government systems in Pakistan and India on a regular basis, promote the cause of good governance in the region and explore ways of communicating shared principles on local governance reforms with a view to encourage adoption of appropriate practices by both the countries. The symposium, which will be organised by the National Reconstruction Bureau of Pakistan will also discuss post-colonial administration and its effects on governance, fiscal decentralisation, fiscal capacity and financial management at the local level and the outcomes of the local government system in Pakistan and India with focus on public accountability, community empowerment and e-governance. The Indian team will also have experts from the field of local governance and sociologists.