News Digest – Federal Affairs (September 16 – 22, 2021)

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Economic and Development

The new government of Nepali Congress has not been able to spend even one percent capital budget during two months of the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22. However, Finance Minister Janardan Sharam has targeted to mobilize at least 10 percent capital budget each month. While it is less expenditure the capital budget compare to previous FYs. According to the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), out of a total 425 billion capital budget, the government spent only 2.61 billion which is a 0.6 percent, as of September 4.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Province 2 has provided fire brigades to Nepal Police and two local levels – Ram Gopalpur Municipality and Sasi Rural Municipality of Mahottari district.

Provincial Politics

Acharya is under minority in Provincial Assembly of Province 1 while the newly formed party called NCP-Unified socialistic (CPN-US)-led by Madhav Kumar Nepal prepares to file against him. As per the provision in the Constitution, Article 188 (2) CM should take a vote of confidence within one month when the ruling political party split. Meanwhile, CM Acharya is ready to take a vote of confidence on October 8, but the opposition try to remove CM from his post through an earlier special session.  

Main opposition – Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) has obstructed the Lumbini Provincial Assembly meeting. The opposition is demanding to take action two CPN-UML leaders – Bimala Bali and Ajay Bahadur Shahi. Two months ago, CPN-UML had taken action against them while support opposition but Lumbini Speaker has not taken action against them, UML leaders say. Therefore, the opposition has been obstructing the Provincial Assembly meeting.

Speaker of Lumbini Province, Krishan Dhawaj Khadaka speaking in press conference noticed the government makes full-fledged provincial cabinet within a week. 

Chief Minister of Lumbini, Kul Prasad K.C. Planting trees. Photo: RSS

Administration Issues

According to the Provincial Secretariat, Bagmati Province spent Nrs. 19 million for housing facilities the member of Provincial Assembly in the FY 2020/21. Reportedly, Bagmati Province has been providing Nrs. 15 thousand per month for houses rent those lawmakers have not home in the capital city of the province. While those lawmakers who have a home in the capital city of the province have been also receiving Nrs. 7 thousand per month for home maintenance. 

On September 21, Gandaki Provincial is preparing to amend the law related to a service provider to the member of the Provincial Assembly. This is the fourth time the Provincial Assembly is preparing for amendment. Through the amendment, the Gandaki Province can provide vehicles facilities to five provincial members. Previously, at least 10 percent of participate should be in the Provincial Assembly to achieve vehicle facility. After this amendment, Rashtriya Janamorcha and Janata Samajwadi Party can also use vehicles facilities while they have less than 10 percent members in the assembly. 

Federalization Process

The provincial government has not been able to establish their own existence/rights in federalism implementation however provincial government has been in operation for four years, Political Analyst Shyam Shrestha says. Similarly, another political analyst Bishanu Dahal argues that the provincial representatives have not been able to far-cite/vision and they blame the federal government for covering up their inaction. Similarly, another political analyst, Surendra Labh also mentions the provincial government should emphasize good-governance to use its power and seeking further rights as well.

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