News Digest – Federalism (February 4 – February 10)

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Administrative Issues: Most of the Provincial Assembly meeting has been disrupted due to the vote of the no-confidence motion and political drama. On February 7, before the speaker could speak, a supporter of the Chief Minister of Province 1, Sherdhan Rai, obstructed the meeting. The meeting was called for a discussion on the vote of no-confidence issues which was filed earlier against CM Rai. The speaker of Province 1 rescheduled the assembly meeting for February 21. 

The Gandaki Pradesh has officially completed three years of its assembly on February 5, 2021. The Province had organized its first meeting on February 5, 2018. Meanwhile, the Province has passed 45 bills and authenticated 42 bills from 225 assembly meetings so far. After a six-month long rest, the Sudurpashchim Pradesh started its assembly meeting on February 8

Economic Development Issues: On February 9, the Ministry of Finance reviewed the mid-term budget of the current fiscal year. Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel submitted the revised estimated budget. According to the revised budget, the ministry has reduced 9% budget, and the remaining 91% budget will be in use this year. Similarly, the government has targeted to collect Rs 1.74 trillion from revenue, Rs 35 billion from internal debt, and 200 billion from foreign grants. 

The cabinet has passed laws related to commercial administration. According to the law, those who want to do business that can register the business firms at the provincial levels. The cabinet also distributed and transferred the responsibilities related to commercial administration at the federal, provincial, and local levels. Meanwhile, Bagmati Pradesh has drafted the law and will start to provide registration to business firms from February 13. 

The Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Naresh Bhandari said that Karnali Pradesh is going to provide a fund of Rs 100,000 to each of the FM radio stations over the Pradesh. Minster Bhandari said it is important to develop such funds for the FM radios, which supports the government through their performance. Karnali Pradesh will provide such facilities to the local newspapers and insurance facilities to news reporters as well.  

On February 7, 2021, the World Bank (WB) conducted a field study in seven provinces on the uses of concessional loans provided by banks and financial institutions. The WB monitors and inspects the borrowers that have received loans. 

COVID-19 Vaccine: The first phase of the vaccination campaign program against COVID-19 has been completed in Sudurpashchim Pradesh. The government provided 36,000 vaccines to Sudurpashchim Province. The provincial government used 15,000 vaccines to frontline workers via 13 vaccine centers. The provincial government is also preparing for the second phase of the vaccination campaign as soon as possible.

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