News Digest – Federalism (April 22-28, 2021)

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Budget and development 

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has allocated Rs32 billion budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) in the upcoming fiscal year 2021/22. The upcoming budget is Rs5 billion less than the current fiscal year (2020/21) while the ministry had allocated Rs37 billion in the current fiscal year. Because of the low budget allocation in the upcoming fiscal year, agriculture-related programs have been significantly affected. According to the ministry reduced the budget due to COVID-19.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by 1.9 percent and it will constant by 3.5 percent 

Administration

On April 28, Bagmati Pradesh has expanded the cabinet. Chief Minister Dormani Paudel has not appointed the Nepal and Khanal faction in the new cabinet.  

Seven proposals for Province 2’s capita name and six proposals for the capital city have been registered in the secretariat of the provincial assembly. The secretariat of the provincial assembly had noticed for a proposal the provincial name and its capital city from April 12-22. As the constitutional provision, the provincial assembly has an authority to designate the name of the province and its capital city by a two-thirds majority, but it has not been finalized yet lack of the consent among parties.

The Gandaki Provincial assembly started the special session on April 26. In the special session the assembly table the voted on a no-trust motion against the Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung. The main opposition parties—Nepali Congress and Janata Samajwadi Party including Nepal Communist Party-Maoist Center have proposed a no-truest motion against Gurung. CM Gurung had ended the parliament session at midnight on April 14 while the parties were trying to register the vote of no-confidence against him. 

Health-related issues 

On April 22, Karnali Pradesh Disaster Management Committee’s meeting decided to hire 10 ambulances for providing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the meeting also decided to use the helicopter in mountainous districts. People can take the ambulance service online/apps. Similarly, the Ministry of Social Development has submitted the proposal to purchase the health-related required materials. The Office of the Chief Minister and Council of Ministers has also prepared to submit the concrete plan and budget for the COVID-19 in the next meeting.


The local governments are following the ‘wait and see’ policy in the COVID-19 response. 

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