Nepal | July 05, 2020

Gaunpalikas to be called rural municipalities

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, March 14

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to all local levels directing them to call gaunpalikas rural municipalities and prepare their official seals accordingly.

“Since it requires local levels to provide recommendation letters and certificates to service-seekers in English language as well, all district coordination committees, metropolitan cities, sub-metropolitan cities, municipalities and rural municipalities are hereby instructed to prepare their official seals accordingly,” reads a circular issued by Employee Administration and Internal Management Section of MoFALD today. Local levels have been told to make sure that they have an English name, the circular adds.

Contrary to what the constitution mentions in its official translation, a meeting presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Local Development and Federal Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa held in Singha Durbar yesterday decided that gaunpalikas would be called rural municipalities in English. However, English terms for mahanagarpalika, upamahanagarpalika and nagarpalika will remain unchanged and are as per the English translation of the constitution.

The official translation of the constitution uses village bodies for gaunpalikas. Asked why the government did not adhere to the official translation of the constitution, MoFALD Spokesperson Kedar Nath Sharma said, “We collected opinions and suggestions from experts and diverse sources before settling on ‘rural municipality’ for gaunpalika. As decision to this effect was taken at the ministerial-level and all local levels have already been directed to do so, it will be immature to say more on this issue.”

Nepal, however, will not be alone in having rural municipalities, since Canada uses the term ‘rural municipality’ in Manitoba and Saskatchewan provinces.

A version of this article appears in print on March 15, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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