News Digest: Federal Affairs (August 26-Sep 01, 2021)

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Provincial Politics

On August 27, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) changed the chief minister (CM) in Province 1. Meanwhile, Bhim Acharya has been appointed the new CM in place of Sherdhan Rai. The CPN-UML replaced Acharya while former CM Rai fell into a minority. And the party trusted the CM Acharya that makes the majority of the party. So, the party appointed Acharya as the leader of the UML parliamentary party and CM. Similarly, in the Bagmati Province, Asta Laxmi Shakya was appointed as the CM in place of Dor Mani Paudel. Former CM Poudel also fell into a minority. Both newly appointed CMs – Acharya and Shakya were from the Madhav Kumar Nepal faction before being appointed, but now they were declared from the Oli’s faction.

Chief of Province No. 1 Somnath Adhikari administers oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed Chief Minister Bhim Prasad Acharya. Photo: RSS

Province 2 CM Lal Babu Raut has reshuffled his cabinet on August 29 by changing the portfolio of two ministers. CM Raut has given the responsibility of the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives to former Finance Minister Vijay Kumar Yadav and former Finance Minister Shailendra Sah replaced in place of Yadav. 

On August 29, the Lumbini Province government has added three ministries and total ministries to 13. Earlier, the former CM Shankar Pokharel-led government had 10 ministries only. The Lumbini Province government increased ministries to power-sharing with coalition parties—Nepal Congress, Janata Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Jan Morcha, and unbiased MP.

Economic and Development 

The newly appointed Finance Minister Janardhan Sharma, led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba government has decided to revise the budget for the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2021/22 through the replacement bill. Earlier, the budget was unveiled by the KP Sharma Oli-led government through an ordinance. Through the bill, the Ministry emphasizes strengthening the practical implementation of federalism, maintaining financial discipline, increasing capital expenditure, and building capital. The government took a step for revising the budget after CPN (Unified Socialist) and Democratic Socialist Party-Nepal got authority from the Election Commission. 

Ward member of Jal Jala Rural Municipality of Parbat district directed to stop illegal river excavation from the Kaligandaki River. Now 12 crusher companies are using the illegal river excavation in the river. As per the government provision not allowing excavation of rivers during monsoon season. However, the company is using crusher machines despite the rural municipality repeatedly order for stopping and ignoring government rule.

The federal government has distributed Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise to NPR 48.5 million to all local government. As per the Intergovernmental Fiscal Arrangement Act, 2017 local government receives 15 percent amount tax collection from the federal government. 

National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission have prepared a draft of a five years strategic plan from the current FY 2021/22 to 2025/26. The commission mobilizes natural resources to the government based on the strategic plan.  

Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) Bidya Sundar Shakya has committed to manage the garbage of the Kathmandu Valley soon.

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