News Digest: Federal Affairs (August 12-18, 2021)

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Provincial Politics

On 11 August, Lumbini Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Shankar Pokharel resigned from his post after he became a minority in the provincial assembly. On the same day, Lumbini Governor, Amik Sherchan approved Pokharel’s resignation and called for the formation of a new government by 3:00 pm tomorrow. Meanwhile, Governor Sherchan appointed Kul Prasad KC as the new CM on the basis of Article 168 (2) of the constitution after the alliance of four parties’ leaders—Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Center, Janata Samajbadi Party, and Rashtriya Janamorcha, submitted signatures of 42 lawmakers with a majority for claiming CM’s appointment. 

Moreover, the Lumbini Pradesh Governor ended the special session on August 13, while the newly appointed CM Kul Prasad KC of Lumbini Pradesh is preparing to take a vote of confidence soon. CM KC also announces the government is preparing to bring new policies and programs by amendment of previous government’s policies and programs.

Administrative Issues 

On August 17, as recommendation of the PM Sher Bahadur Deuba, President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed Hari Shankar Mishra as the new Governor of Province 2. President Bhandari removed Rajesh jha and replaced Mishra. The former Governor was appointed during the KP Sharma Oli government on February 19.

Except for CM, ministers, speakers, deputy speakers in Bagmati Pradesh, Provincial Assembly Secretariat bear almost NPR 20 million annually for the housing facilities for the provincial members—members of committees, opposition parties leaders, Chief Whip, Whip, and provincial lawmakers. Now, provincial lawmakers receive NPR 15,000 per month who have no residence in the provincial capital and receive NPR 7,000 per month for the house maintenance of those who have a house in the provincial capital.

Economic and Development Issues

According to the department of local infrastructure development, out of 753 local municipalities and rural municipalities, 21 local levels yet out of the road facility. However, the government has a plan to construct a road from Palikas’ offices to the main highway road within five years. The department has informed that a total of 3,415 kilometers of road have to be constructed for all local levels. Similarly, the department has to construct 448 kilometers of road for access to 21 local levels.

Gandaki Pradesh has increased the vehicle tax rate from NPR 126 to 400 in FY 2021/22.

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