New civic set-up comes into effect

Kathmandu, March 10

Old structures of the local bodies--VDCs and municipalities--were officially dissolved today with the publishing of the new local level set-up in the Nepal Gazette.

Village development committees and municipalities that had been in existence for about a quarter century have been replaced by village bodies and municipalities based on a report put forth by the Local Bodies Restructuring Commission.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kamal Thapa, while addressing a press meet at his office today, announced that all old structures of local bodies were dissolved with immediate effect.

"Structures of 744 local bodies have been published in Nepal Gazette," said Thapa, adding that the new structures would be effective immediately.

Earlier, a meeting of Council of Ministers had decided to substitute the existing local bodies with local levels in line with the federal set-up. The meeting also decided to allocate Rs 10 million to each local body for initial set-up.

Meanwhile, MoFALD has cancelled leave of all local development officers serving across the country. Issuing a press release today, MoFALD directed LDOs who were on leave to return to their respective working areas at the earliest.

MoFALD Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari said the LDOs had to do a lot of work to implement the new structures of local levels.

According to him, LDOs have to change sign boards, letter heads and stamp seals, place citizen charter at the newly created village bodies and municipalities and take many other decisions to change the old structures.

Adhikari said it would take time to enforce new local structures and the ministry had decided to set up temporary offices of local bodies in the offices of VDCs and municipalities. He said the ministry had demanded Rs 11 billion to set up permanent structures of the local bodies.

The MoFALD said it had been working to depute additional employees to the local levels.

The ministry said the Election Commission had directed the ministry to set up local levels and deploy employees immediately. The EC said establishment of offices of the local levels and employees were required to prepare for local level elections.