News Digest – Federal Affairs (April 29-May5)

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Provincial-level

The voting on the no-confidence motion filed against Chief Minister of Gandaki Province Prithvi Subba Gurung was scheduled on April 28. However, the voting was postponed indefinitely after the Rashtriya Janamorcha Party claimed the mysterious disappearance of one of its lawmakers. The main opposition parties—the Nepali Congress and Janata Samanjbadi Party, including the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Center (CPN-MC), filed a no-confidence motion against CM Gurung. 

COVID-19 response

Karnali Province arranged a budget of Rs1 billion for the COVID-19 response. Furthermore, the province has also prepared to transfer Rs 500 million from the capital budget (development budget) to the COVID fund. The provincial government immediately allocated Rs 220 million to the Surkhet Provincial Hospital and Rs 120 million to Charajahari community hospital, district hospital, and strategic hospital in order to combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 3, following the meeting between the office of the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers of Province 2, the ministers at the district level were given the responsibility for the control of the Coronavirus pandemic. The government has also temporarily appointed 417 health workers in the health institutes over the province. Similarly, in Province 2, the government has decided to allocate Rs 500,000 each to 14 government hospitals to help combat the COVID-19. On April 29, Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut also decided to procure oxygen cylinders. Similarly, Bagmati Province is going to set up oxygen plants in five district hospitals.

On May 3, the cabinet meeting of Karnali Province decided to allocate Rs100 million for the control and treatment of the COVID-19 in ten districts. Thereby, each of the ten districts under Karnali Pradesh receives Rs 10 million. Similarly, Karnali Pradesh also allocated a budget for the hospitals’ management. Moreover, Karnali has planned to set up 500 beds for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. They are now setting 100 beds in the hospitals in five districts.

Karnali Provincial Assembly lawmakers of CPN-MC have pledged to provide their half-month salary to the COVID fund.

A cabinet meeting chaired by Karnali Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi on Saturday. Photo: RSS

Administration

On May 3, President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed Sita Paudel and Ganga Prasad Yadav as the governors (province chiefs) of Gandaki and Sudurpaschim Provinces respectively, after removing erstwhile governors of the provinces: Amik Sherchan and Sharmila Kumari Panta. Now all seven provinces have Nepal Communist Party-Unified Marxist Leninist’s governor.

On May 3, Gandaki Province’s Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel reshuffled his cabinet for the second time. Now the provincial council of ministers has 10 members.

Development 

The government has selected 12 cities including Bhimdatta Municipality of Kanchanpur under the smart city program. The municipality receives Rs one billion under the program.

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