Kathmandu, February 10

Objections have increased after the central government strengthened the role of Chief District Officer in newly registered bills although the country has adopted federalism. Despite the objections, the parliamentary panel today agreed to include the CDO as Town Development Committee member.

While discussing ‘Some Nepal Acts Amendment Bill’, Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee members today requested panel Chairperson Krishna Bhakta Pokharel to exclude the CDO from the TDC and include a representative from the District Coordinating Committee. The centre can form the TDC to implement town plans with the chair of the local government  leading the 12-member committee.

Though lawmakers shouted against government proposal to include the CDO, the representative of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Joint-secretary Dhan Raj Gyawali convinced the lawmakers saying that the development in the town was not possible without the CDO’s role.

“If you need land in the district for any development purpose, without the CDO you can’t acquire land, according to the law,” he said.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Min Bishwokarma criticised the government proposal to include the CDO in the TDC even though the country had adopted federalism.

“Awarding more power to the CDO is making them as powerful as zonal commissioner in the Panchayat era,” he said, asking what the difference was between then and now. He requested inclusion of a member from District Coordinating Committee instead of the CDO.

Bishwokarma said it would not be appropriate to include the CDO in development related issues. “It is ok to include the CDO in the security committee, but not in development related field,” he said. He also said the CDO was not a local as he was deployed by the central government.

“If he does anything wrong, we won’t be responsible. Besides, the central government can pull him back any time,” he added.

But after listening to the government side, Chairperson Pokharel agreed to include both the CDO (the CDO could also send a representative) and a member of the DCC in the TDC.

“We have finalised a 12-member TDC after adding a member from the DCC,” Chairperson Pokharel said.