News Digest: Federal Affairs (June 2 – 9, 2021)

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Provincial politics

Sudurpaschim Pradesh Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta won the vote of confidence on June 8. CM Bhatta, who belongs to the CPN-Maoist party, received a total of 30 votes – 13 from his party and 17 from CPN-UML of Madhav Kumar Nepal’s faction while Nepali Congress lawmakers stayed neutral during the vote.

Gandaki Pradesh Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung has announced to seek a vote of confidence from the Provincial Assembly on June 10. A proposal related to confidence has been registered in the Parliament Secretariat on June 8. There is a mandatory provision that CM Gurung, who was reappointed as CM by Sita Kumari Poudel on May 12, should take confidence within a month.

Most of the opposition parties’ lawmakers have boycotted the policy and programs session of Lumbini Pradesh. As opposition, they boycotted the session claiming that the provincial chief, Sankar Pokharel was reappointed unconstitutionally. The opposition has continued to demand the resignation of CM Pokharel. As in Gandaki and Sudurpaschim Pradesh, the opposition also asked CM Pokharel to take a vote of confidence or resign.

The Chief Minister of Province 2, Lal babu Raut expelled four ministers from the faction of Mahanta Thakur. The Minister for Physical Infrastructure Development, Jeetendra Sonal; Minister of State for Social Development, Abhiram Sharma; Minister of State for Physical Infrastructure Development, Dimple Jha; and Minister of State for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment, Suresh Mandal were expelled. CM Raut has decided to split six ministerial portfolios into 10 to include CPN-Maoist Center and NC in the cabinet.

The government of Karnali Pradesh expanded the cabinet on June 6. CM Mahendra Bahadur Shahi has appointed two ministers from Nepali Congress.

Provincial Budget 

A meeting of the Council of Ministers of Bagmati Pradesh approved its policy and programs in the Provincial Assembly for the next fiscal year on June 8. Similarly, Bagmati Pradesh’s policy and programs are being tabled by Province Chief, Bishnu Prasad Prasain in the Provincial Assembly meeting on June 10.

Province 1 is going to present Rs 33 billion budget in the next fiscal year 2021/22 through ordinance without discussion with the opposition. Although, there is a provision that the provincial government should discuss the budget (policies and program) before the 15 days submission date.

Deprivation form incentive allowance

Health workers of Bagmati have been deprived of risk and incentive allowance for the past seven months. The provincial government has already allocated Rs 63.9 million incentive-related budget for the health workers, but 17.92 million was spent so far. The government has mentioned that the health workers receive allowances 100%, 75%, and 50% based on their risk.

Miscellaneous

The government of Nepal is going to take Rs 559.30 billion loans for the next fiscal year. Out of the total Rs 1.647 trillion allocated budgets for the next fiscal year, the government has estimated that Rs 1.24 trillion will be collected from taxes and the remaining Rs 559.30 billion from loans and grants. Similarly, the government will collect Rs 63 billion from foreign grants, 250 billion from national debt, and Rs 309 billion from international debt.

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