Nepal | November 20, 2019

‘Centre shouldn’t control provincial, local govts’


Jagdishor Panday

Kathmandu, February 21

Lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties have registered 81 amendments to the Federal Civil Servants Bill at the House of Representatives.

Most of the amendments state that the federal government should not meddle with provincial and local governments’ powers to appoint, deploy and transfer civil servants in areas of their jurisdiction.

Most of the lawmakers sought amendment to the bill to empower provincial and local governments to run their offices on their own.

The bill states that the chief secretaries of provinces, secretaries of provincial ministries and chief administrative officials of local governments will be appointed by the federal government.

Lawmakers from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Janardan Sharma, Rekha Sharma, Yashoda Subedi, Tirtha Gautam and Amrita Thapa registered amendment proposals seeking to scrap the provision of the bill that intends to give power to the federal government to appoint chief secretaries of provinces, secretaries of provincial ministries and chief administrative officials of local governments.

“There should be a provision in the bill allowing the provincial governments to appoint provincial secretaries,” the amendment stated.

The bill does not stipulate that provincial and local governments will have powers in the future to appoint these officials. However, former minister and NCP (NCP) lawmaker Mahesh Basnet registered an amendment proposal stating that the civil servants should be accountable to provincial and local governments after they are adjusted.

In the proposed bill’s provision, officials of secretary level at the centre will be eligible to become chief secretaries in provinces, while federal joint secretaries will be eligible to become secretaries in provincial ministries. But Basnet stated that provincial civil servants should have opportunity to be promoted to the post of provincial secretaries.

Main opposition Nepal Congress Lawmakers Rajendra Kumar KC and Sanjay Kumar Gautam jointly registered an amendment stating all the government servants should be categorised as government servants instead of categorising them as employees of civil service and Nepal health service.

They also sought extension of retirement age of government service employees from 58 to 60 years. In the proposed bill, the retirement age of civil servants has been set at 58, except for those working as health service providers for whom retirement age has been set at 60.

NCP lawmakers Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Ganga Chaudhary and Tirtha Gautam jointly registered an amendment that stated that the differently abled should be allowed to enter civil service till the age of 40.

Lawmakers Minakshi Jha, Rangmati Shahi and Bimala Nepali registered amendment stated the federal government should allow transfer of secretaries from any service.


A version of this article appears in print on February 22, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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