News Digest: Federal Affairs (January 13 – 19, 2022)

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Provincial and Local Issues

The assembly meeting of Province 2 on January 17, the two-thirds majority has finalized province name ‘Madhes’ and Janakpur as the capital city through the voting system. 90 provincial members have attended a meeting where 80 members voted were cast favour of capital name and 78 for the capital city. Most of the political parties had supported the proposal, Janakpur as the capital city and province name Madhes. Janat Samajbadi Party Nepal, Loktantrik Samajbadi Party Nepal, and CPN-Maoist Center have registered the proposal to name the province Madhes, while CPN-UML and CPN-Unified Socialist was registered name ‘Janaki’ while Nepali Congress had proposed province name as Mithila-Bhojpura.

Karnali Province has started the ninth Provincial Assembly meeting on January 12. In the assembly meeting, the opposition has accused the ruling party has to misuse the budget to sustain the alliance and distribution of power-sharing. The opposition has also failed to expand cabined and its business. 

A ward member of Barju Rural Municipality in Sunsari has refused the instruction of the District Administration Office. The administration office has ordered the municipality to stop the festival during the COVID-19 pandemic. The viewers were vandalized vehicles in the festival due to lack of proper management.    

Economy & Development Issues 

The government has been able to spend only 13.44 percent capital budget in six months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2021-22. While the government spent an overall 31 percent budget so far. In the press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance informed that the government could not spend the large capital budget due to budget holidays and started delay implementation from October. Similarly, the government has collected 45.91 percent revenue in the six months of the current FY.

Local governments have not finished listing farmers’ names under the ‘listing program’ so far. While the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development was officially launched in March 2021 to make a listing of farmers for distributing farmer identity cards. But the government has not completed so far. Similarly, the government has allocated Rs. 460 million for the program. 

COVID-19 Control Issues  

The federal government has ordered that all local governments must have set up a vaccine center and antigen testing center against the COVID-19 pandemic. The center will be operating at least 12 hours every day. The government has also ordered to provide free test of COVID-19.

Sudurpashchim Province has zero stock of COVID-19 vaccine however the government has launched a campaign for providing vaccines for people. The people have not received additional doses of the same vaccine. 

Karnali Chief Minister Jeevan Bahadur Shahi has distributed relief to the fire victims in Mugu. Similarly, Karnali Province Disaster Management Council also decided to provide foodstuff and other materials to the fire victims. 

Election Issues

On January 18, a high-level political coordinator committee meeting of ruling alliances has reached a consensus on holding local polls ‘on time’. The Election Commission has proposed the local poll date for April 27 and May 5.

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