Nepal | March 23, 2019

Task force meets today to dwell on addressing inter-province issues

Rewati Sapkota

Kathmandu, December 10

A task force of the inter-province council formed today to make recommendations for addressing issues related to the implementation of federalism will hold its first meeting tomorrow.

Home minister Ram Bahadur Thapa-led task force will draft a proposal including recommendations based on issues raised during the two-day inter-province council meeting that concluded today, rights guaranteed in the constitution and guidelines forwarded by the federal government to provinces.

Finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada, also a member of the task force, said the final proposal would include constitutional rights, guidelines for provincial governments, delegation of powers to the provinces regarding human and other resources, organisational structure and ways to speed up development programmes.

The task force has been asked to present the proposal in the next meeting of the council slated for December 18. Based on the proposal, the council will decide future course of action related to laws, administrative structure and human and fiscal resource mobilisation.

“Tomorrow’s meeting will decide on the issues to be included in the proposal,” said Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel, who is a member of the task force. Following the council’s meeting, seven CMs held a brief meeting today to come up with common suggestions to the task force.

Members of the Thapa-led task force include Minister of Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada, Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit, and CMs of provinces 2 and 5, Lal Babu Raut and Shankar Pokharel, respectively. Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi is its member secretary.

In the two-day meeting the CMs complained about the federal government’s non-cooperation regarding implementation of rights guaranteed to provinces in the constitution. They complained of human resource crunch, non-formation of National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission and umbrella laws.

To address human resource crunch at the provincial and local levels, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari yesterday endorsed the civil servant adjustment ordinance. “The endorsement of the ordinance has paved the way for addressing human resource shortage. We’ll hold consultations on ways to address issues related to administrative restructuring,” Pokharel said.

He said the task force would also work to speed up the process of formation of the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission. “The commission will then come up with a plan for sharing resources among the three tiers of government as per the constitutional provision,” Pokharel said.

The task force will also recommend umbrella laws that have to be passed by the federal parliament. Most of the umbrella laws that will ensure effective functioning of provincial governments have not been drafted yet.

Lal Babu Raut termed the council meeting a ‘milestone’, hoping that the task force would eliminate dilemma among provincial governments.

 


A version of this article appears in print on December 11, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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