CDOs defy provincial govt’s decision

  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of Province 1 had declared Thursday a holiday across the province to mark World Indigenous Day

Biratnagar, August 9

Lack of coordination between the federal and provincial governments has become evident in Province 1, with chief district officers defying the provincial government’s decision to grant a holiday today on the occasion of World Indigenous Day.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of the province had issued a notice regarding its decision to grant holiday across the province today on the occasion of World Indigenous Day. It had also written to all chief district officers, informing them of its decision. But, CDOs of all the 14 districts didn’t implement the decision, citing absence of any notice to this effect from the central government.

All district administration offices remained open, along with other district-based offices, including post office, treasury comptroller office, land survey office and courts in defiance of the provincial government’s decision. Other province-level government offices and teaching institutions, however, remained closed.

“We got the provincial government’s notice, but as we are under the central government and didn’t get any such notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs at the centre, we had to open offices,” said Morang CDO Ramesh KC. He clarified that they had not defied the provincial government.

“In fact, we didn’t have any option but to open offices. Otherwise we would have to furnish clarification to the central government,” he added, stressing on the need of cooperation between the two levels of government on such issues.

Another CDO claimed that there was verbal information from the secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs not to close offices.

Meanwhile, Province 1 Social Development Minister Jivan Ghimire blamed government employees, saying that the problem arose as they had failed to understand federalism. “It’s the administration offices which are responsible for implementing the decision of the provincial government. It is lack of understanding of federal structure that led them to keep the offices open,” he observed.

Province 1 Minister of Internal Affairs and Law Hikmat Karki called the issue of offices remaining open despite a notice to the contrary a serious matter.

“Defying the decision of the provincial government vested with constitutional and legal powers cannot be taken lightly. We’ll discuss it with the central government as soon as possible,” he said.