News Digest – Federalism (February 18 – February 24, 2021)

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Administrative Issues: On February 19, the governor of Province 2 Tilak Pariyar was released from his post and was replaced by Rajesh Jha. After the recommendation from Cabinet, President Bidya Devi Bhandari appointed Jha as governor of Province 2. 

On February 21, the Prachanda-Nepal faction registered a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Sher Dhan Rai. CM Rai claimed that the no-confidence motion was tabled against him for the objectives of creating instability and anarchy in the provincial government. After the parliament was dissolved on December 20, the Prachanda-Nepal faction had registered the no-confidence motion against Rai on December 27, 2020. CM Rai also put his strength that the government has performed well so far.

Similarly, the Prachanda-Nepal faction leader Bhim Acharya said that CM Rai cannot dissolve the parliament. Previously, CM Rai had warned the Prachanda-Nepal faction about provincial dissolution. 

On February 17, the Provincial Assembly Session of Province 1 was postponed for the second time indefinitely. The Prachanda-Nepal faction is dissatisfied with Provincial Assembly Speaker Sanu Kumar Shrestha, who is in favor of CM Dormani Poudel, and postponed the session.

Economic Development: Sudurpashchim Pradesh has spent a total of Rs 36 billion in three different fiscal years – FY 2074/75 to FY 2076/77, in the allocated Rs 87 billion plus in the four different FYs from 2074/75 to 2077/78. The province has expended only 42% of the total budget. Similarly, the capital expenditure is extremely weaker compared to the current expenditure of the Province.  

Chief Minister of Sudurpashchim Pradesh Trilochan Bhatta suggested that the provincial government and local government should give special priority to the development plans to remote areas. CM also said that the current development plan focuses more on developed areas, making them more developed, while the underdeveloped areas remain backwards. Thus, the Planning Commission and related institutions should prioritize to the remote areas. 

The rural municipality is also expending huge amounts of money on constructing office buildings. The four local levels of Mugu district have started construct buildings worth Rs 10 million each.   

Security and Disaster 

Gandaki Pradesh Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung put forth his grievance with the federal government. CM Gurung demanded Rs 2.17 billion for the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in the current fiscal year; however, the federal government has not shown interest to address his interest so far. CM Gurung also claimed that the federal government did not fulfill the previous year’s promise to support the DRRM and the compensation of 2015 earthquake is also due. 

The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB), under the Ministry of Home is going to deploy 753 intelligence officers at local levels all over the country. Earlier, the department deployed 77 officers around the country. 

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