EDITORIAL: Report without fail

Most of the government employees, who were transferred to the concerned offices of the given provinces, have yet to report to duty

Bureaucracy is considered the permanent government which carries out day-to-day administrative job, provides services to the public and spearheads development works identified by the elected government. Without the presence of adequate number of government staffers, no government can function at the desired level. Till date, Nepal’s bureaucracy was highly centralised and transfers of government employees used to be made by the concerned ministries or related departments and, working environment and status of all the employees were the same even; no matter if they worked at the centre or in remote districts. After the country adopted the federal structure having three tiers of government—local, provincial and federal—with the promulgation of the new constitution, the civil servants are also going to be classified into three categories, leading to a level of anxiety among civil servants, who were accustomed to the old bureaucratic set-up. This kind of apprehension is especially felt among the low-ranking employees, who might opt for quitting the jobs under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) rather than being transferred to either in faraway provinces or in remote rural municipalities.

It has been more than two months since the parliamentary and provincial general elections were held. But the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) has not been able to depute required number of employees in all seven provinces. Most of the government employees, who were transferred to the concerned offices of the given provinces, have yet to report to duty, whereas all the provincial governments are set to be formed within a week. According to MoGA Spokesperson Shiva Ram Neupane, the ministry has already deployed 864 staffers in all provinces till Saturday. An additional 700 employees will be deployed within next week. As per the ministry’s preliminary estimates, it will roughly require more than 1,500 government staffers simply to make the provincial governments functional. The federal ministry has yet to work out in details about the number of other staffers required for running the 753 local levels. Even as three levels of governments require additional number of staffers the then Parliament passed an Act and came out with the VRS to the government staffers who have crossed 50 years of age and who are eligible for retirement.

The Kashiraj Dahal-led High-Level Administration Reform and Monitoring Report, submitted in December 2016, has said about 75 percent of the 86,000 centralised government staffers need to be transferred to the provincial and local level units to make them fully functional. The report has also stressed the need to make reforms in structure, working style and evaluation system of the public administration to ensure peace, development, good governance and prosperity in all levels. The government had ample time to plan and execute the report well before the three tiers of elections. The government should have recognised the fact that bureaucracy too required revamps in line with the federal structure. As time is running out to make necessary adjustment of the government staffers MoGA must depute staffers, ensuring they report to their work stations without fail.

Learning at FTII

Twenty Nepali actors are set to attend the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune for an acting course. These actors were selected from among 60 applicants by a panel of judges based on their performances and accomplishments in films and theatre. Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri on Saturday revealed the names of the shortlisted artistes at an event held at the Embassy of India in Kathmandu. The fully-funded course, from February 12 to March 3, has been facilitated by the embassy.

The embassy initiated the programme for providing the Nepali actors with better opportunities after observing the growth in the Nepali film industry. “If we have some facilities that we can offer, they are welcome,” Puri said at Saturday’s event. The FTII is a premier acting institute of India. It has given finest actors to Bollywood. The likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Danny Denzongpa, among others, once trained at the FTII before making big names in the Indian film industry. The embassy’s initiative to provide these 20 actors with an opportunity to learn acting at the FTII is a praiseworthy move.