Raut skips inter-state council task force meet

Kathmandu, December 11

The task force of the Inter-province Council today decided to prepare a draft proposal with work plan by Friday based on the two-day council meeting that concluded yesterday. The task force formed yesterday is mandated to give recommendations for addressing concerns related to the implementation of federalism.

Finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada told THT that the next meeting would be held on Friday to discuss the draft of the proposal. “We’ll find out which laws, regulations and working procedures should be amended to implement federalism,” Khatiwada said.

Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit and Province 2 Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut, who are also members of the task force of the Inter-province Council, were absent in the first meeting of the task force. Pandit went to Biratnagar, while Raut went to Birgunj today, though both were in town yesterday. Province 5 CM Shankar Pokharel went to Butwal after the task force meeting.

According to Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Laxman Mainali, today’s meeting was held at OPMCM and was attended by coordinator of the task force and Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa, finance minister Khatiwada, Province 5 CM Pokharel and Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi, who is also member secretary of the task force.

In the two-day council meeting that concluded yesterday, the CMs had demanded the federal government’s cooperation in implementation of rights guaranteed to provinces in the constitution, resolution of human resource crunch and formation of the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission and umbrella laws.

The task force has seven days to make recommendations on guidelines for provincial governments, modality to delegate powers to provinces regarding human and other resources and ways to speed up development programmes. The task force has to table its recommendations in the next Inter-province Council meeting slated for December 18.