Govt bans essential services strike

Kathmandu, October 4

The government has issued a warning to all concerned to refrain from enforcing or causing others to enforce any form of strike or protest in a manner to obstruct the supply and delivery of essential services.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on August 25 issued the warning in the Nepal Gazette after some business groups, transport entrepreneurs and others recently shut services and threatened to bring the supply and delivery of essential goods and services to a grinding halt.

Recently, doctors went on strike and boycotted out-patient services in hospitals across the country after the Council of Ministers decided to hold them responsible for negligence in patients’ treatment.

Earlier, people faced the brunt of the strike enforced by transport entrepreneurs over the hike in fines for traffic violations as they halted services intentionally due to the government’s failure to strictly enforce the law.

“If any person stages a strike or encourages others to do so in the essential public services, the local administration will initiate legal action against him/her under the Essential Services Operation Act, 1957,” said the notice.

The government has fixed 18 areas of essential services where strike is prohibited. Some  of the services include postal, telegram or telephone services, transportation services and airport runway and aeroplane repair and maintenance services.

The government has also banned strike in mint or government press, any service of defence affairs of the Nepal government relating to the function of arms, ammunition or production of any military goods and services concerning internal security.

The other service areas include water supply, tourism sector, supply of petroleum products, including cooking gas, health services, waste management, banking, electricity supply, insurance and transportation, storage and distribution of consumer goods including rice, lentils, edible oil and salt.