Transfer, a key issue nagging civil servants

Kathmandu, December 29

Disgruntled civil servants continue to oppose the newly enforced Civil Service Adjustment Ordinance.

Notwithstanding Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit’s assurance that new federal civil service bill would address all their concerns, disgruntled civil servants have been protesting against the government inside and outside Singha Durbar, the main administrative headquarters of the country, for the last  three weeks.

Their main concern is that the civil servants who choose to be adjusted in provincial and local governments should not be prevented from being transferred to the federal government. Disgruntled employees  said that the ordinance, which was enforced on  December 9,  was silent on transfer issue.

“It is not clear what the government’s position on the transfer issue is,” an officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs told THT, adding, “The ordinance does not say that those choosing adjustment in seven provinces and 753 local governments can get transferred to the federal government.”

The official said the disgruntled officials would continue to protest until they got assurance from the government that their concerns would be addressed. The official said that Minister Pandit’s recent assurance that employees’ career growth would not be hampered was not enough to convince the disgruntled employees.

Secretary at the  Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, however,  said there was  no provision that barred an employee working in the provincial and local governments from being transferred to federal government.

He also said that disgruntled civil servants concerns related to  transfer would be addressed in the  Federal Civil Servant Bill to be presented in the Parliament.

He added, “ Some employees are interpreting the ordinance in their own way but the ordinance does not bar any employee — whether s/he works for federal, provincial or local governments from reaching  the post of chief secretary.”

The Minister of Federal Affairs and General Administration has  opened the adjustment process asking the civil servants to send their applications within the stipulated date.  The ministry will deploy  civil servants in different tiers of the government on the basis of their competence and grade, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.

The government has already formed a grievances redressal committee to address the grievances of disgruntled employees which has representation from  the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister’s Office and  Trade Union led by Punya Dhakal. But the employees’ grievances remain unaddressed.

Dhakal told The Himalayan Times that even though the ordinance was silent on the transfer issue, disgruntled employees should appreciate  the positive aspects of the ordinance.

“Yes, the ordinance is silent on whether or not  employees working in the provincial and local governments will be able to get transferred in the federal government,” he said, adding, that they had asked the government to come up with a new federal civil servant law to address the transfer issue. He also said that the government had called him for a discussion tomorrow.