CM Gurung laments lack of change in mentality

Pokhara, November 27

Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung has rued the difficulties facing the implementation of federalism due to the old mentality.

“The nation has seen a change in the regime with the implementation of federalism but there are still leaders and staff with old mentality, which has created problems in institutionalising perhaps the best system in the world,” said the CM, speaking at a Province Coordination Council meeting that started in Pokhara today.

The provincial government had summoned the meeting to discuss matters related to coordination between it and local governments. Hinting at the failure of the central government to send employees to the local and provincial levels, the chief minister said effective management of manpower and financial resources were the preconditions for provincial and local governments to work according to people’s expectation.

Further, Gurung said success of the central government depends on the success of sub-national governments. “Though it might sound like a protest when we seek our rights at the provincial and local levels, there is no doubt that we all want to see federalism succeed,” he observed.

“Though the local bodies are free to act on their own to some extent, if it is to work out of deference to the central and the provincial government, it will create problems. The federal government must also listen to the voices of the province and local governments. It’s only then we can hope for the success of federalism,” he said.

CM Gurung further cautioned local bodies against making unilateral decisions about road construction and excavation of river products. “There is nothing wrong in carrying out development activities but be careful your decisions and acts don’t land you in the net of the anti-graft body,” Gurung told chiefs of local bodies. He also directed local representatives to ensure that they explain various types of taxes levied on the commoners to tax  payers. “We need to be able to make people understand why we’re levying taxes,” he said.

The two-day meeting has the participation of chiefs and deputies of all 85 local bodies of the province, district coordination committee coordinators and PA members of the province. This is the second coordination council meeting of the province.