News Digest: Federal Affairs (July 22-28, 2021)

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Provincial politics 

On July 27, President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed Prithvi Man Gurung and Amik Sherchan as the governors of Gandaki Pradesh and Lumbini Pradesh, respectively, on the recommendation of the council of ministers based on Article 163 (2) of the constitution. Similarly, a source close to the government said that the PM Sher Bahadur Deuba administration is likely to remove the governor of Province 2, Rajesh Jha (Ahiraj), as well.

State Chief, Sita Kumari Poudel unveiling a souvenir of “Gandaki Pradesh Darpan” published by Gandaki Province. Photo: RSS

After 42 days of leadership, Chief Minister of Gandaki Pradesh, Krishna Chandra Nepali Pokharel finally made his full cabinet on July 23. Pokharel was appointed as CM of Gandaki Pradesh on June 12, but due to political power-sharing problems among the political parties, CM Pokharel could not form his full cabinet on time. Meanwhile, JSP is dissatisfied with CM Pokharel after not getting their demand fulfilled for power-sharing. The JSP demanded two ministries while they got only one.

On July 26, Bibeksheel Nepal Party President Rabindra Mishra proposed abolishing federalism and holding a referendum on secularism in the country. This is the personal view on federalism, Mishra says. Mishra argued that Nepal’s federalism is costly and it is a danger to territorial integrity. Mishra is being widely criticized for this proposal.  

Economic and Development 

The Chandan Nath Municipality has not been able to pass its budget for the next FY 2021/22 due to disagreement between Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The public is facing lack of effective services from the municipality due to their internal dispute. Similarly, the municipality has not been able to hold a public hearing in the last three years due to the same.

Provincial police of Province 1 has collected Rs 400 million revenue in the last fiscal year 2020/21. However, the provincial police were able to collect Rs 290 million in FY 2019/20.

Economic experts suggested to the newly appointed finance minister to reduce the finance cost in the development project.

On July 22, a meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs for disaster management through necessary coordination, partnership, and cooperation with all three tiers of government. The meeting emphasized that coordination and initiation with the three tiers are necessary to reduce disaster risk.  

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has instructed the local levels to return the unspent amount under the Prime Minister’s Employment Program.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and law, Bagmati Pradesh is preparing to amend 13 laws. Since the laws were made in hurry, because of which they are facing difficulty in implementation, experts say.

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