Kathmandu, November 26
Provincial Assembly of Province 2 today passed a new bill that will allow the provincial government to recruit its employees on contract till permanent staffers are in place in the various offices.
This is the second move of Province 2 Assembly after it passed its own police bill reflecting the province’s anger against the federal government for failing to provide umbrella laws and the required number of employees.
When Province 2 passed its own police bill, the Co-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had warned the Province 2 government not to proceed unilaterally ignoring the federal government.
Opposition party in the province, the NCP, which had boycotted the Assembly meeting yesterday to express dissatisfaction with the bill, took part in the Assembly meeting today but voted against the bill when it was put to vote, said NCP Chief Whip Sundar Bishwakarma.
Speaking in the Assembly before the bill was put to vote, Chief Minister M Lalbabu Raut said that his government had brought the bill out of compulsion because the federal government had not supplied the required number of employees to the province. He said there was zero development work in the province in the first four months of the new fiscal due to shortage of employees. CM also said that the federal government had not set the criteria for provincial public service commission even three years after the constitution was promulgated.
The federal government is trying to bring ordinance to impose its conditions on the adjustment of civil servants, he argued.
The CM said the provincial governments would not be obliged to accept the civil servants hired by the federal government after promulgation of the constitution.
Federal Public Service Commission officials have told me that they submitted the criteria for provincial public service commission two years ago, yet the federal government did not give us those criteria.
“This is enough to conclude that the federal government does not want to help the provincial government with recruitment of employees,” he added.
The federal government’s attempt to bring ordinance to address shortage of staff is aimed at undermining the provinces and acting against the spirit of federalism, he added.
He said entry for youths of the province was necessary to implement federalism and give them a sense of ownership of governance.
Advocate General of Province 2 Dipendra Jha said that Province 2 government had required 5,067 employees but it had fewer than 500 employees manning various offices. “There was zero development work in the first quarter of the new fiscal year, mainly because there weren’t enough employees to carry out development works,” he said and added that Province 2 government was under pressure to deliver service to the public.
Province 2 Assembly member Manish Kumar Suman, who represents Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal, said the bill would allow the provincial government 45 per cent of the total employees, on the basis of inclusion.
Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office Laxman Prasad Mainali, who oversees federal affairs, said that a new federal civil service bill was still being considered by the Bill’s Committee of the Cabinet and the provincial governments were required to make their laws without contradicting the federal law.
Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit declined to comment on the provincial bill saying he had not seen the contents of the bill.
A version of this article appears in print on November 27, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.