The Local Bodies Restructuring Commission said change in the report without its implementation would be unconstitutional, and would also make local polls impossible in May.
The constitutional body, which had submitted its report on the number and boundaries of local bodies to the government on January 6, said efforts to change the report would bring more complications instead of resolving the ongoing crisis.
The government has refused to endorse the report and has decided to send it back to the commission for necessary revision after consulting with major political parties. The cabinet meeting held on Friday refused to endorse the report saying that further consultation was needed on the report among political parties.
“Change in the report before its implementation is impossible and would also be unconstitutional,” said LBRC member Sunil Ranjan Singh. He said local polls would not be possible in May if the government decided to revise the LBRC’s report.
Singh said the commission itself could not revise the document and the government needed to form a separate task force to make necessary changes in the report, which could make holding of local polls by May impossible. He said that the LBRC has no time and additional capacity to revise the report.
He however, said that the government could request the commission for necessary revision. He said that the government has to revise the mandate it had given to the LBRC for the revision, which was impossible after the commission submitted it.
“We have done our job,” said another LBRC member Neeraj Shah. He said the commission has no authority to revise the document and the report could be revised only after its implementation. He said that the report could be modified only after the election. He also said that dissatisfaction of the Madhes-based parties over the report was meaningless, as the LBRC had tried its best to forge consensus and take their views until the last minute. “We had also called them to our central office in Kathmandu, but they refused to come,” he added.
Apart from determining the number and boundaries of local bodies, the LBRC is mandated to prepare a report on the special, protected and autonomous region, structure of the public administration in federal model and their economic feasibilities by March 13. The commission is mandated to determine the number, boundaries and economic potential of village councils, municipalities and special, protected and autonomous regions within one year of its formation, as stated in Article 56 (5) of the constitution.
A version of this article appears in print on January 31, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.