Government puts local restructuring report on hold

Published On: January 28, 2017 07:26 AM NPT By: Sangeet Sangroula  | @SangeetJourno

KATHMANDU, Jan 28: The government has decided put the commission report for the formation of 719 local units under the federal system on hold until there is political understanding among political parties on resolving a dispute that has surfaced over the number of local units. 

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) had registered a proposal on Thursday for the formation of the new local units as proposed by the commission formed to restructure local units under the federal system. But a cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar on Friday decided to put the proposal on hold until the government reaches an understanding with major political parties and the agitating Madhes-based parties on resolving the dispute over the  local units proposed in Province 2, informed Minister for Law and Justice Ajay Shankar Nayak. 

“The government has decided to resolve the dispute that has surfaced over the local units proposed by the commission before making any decision on implementing its report. The government will hold talks with the political parties and see if the issue can be settled at the political level or if it needs to send the report back to the commission for necessary review for resolving the dispute,” he added. 

“The new constitution does not state that the government cannot send the report submitted by the commission for further review if needed. So, if reviewing the report can settle the local units dispute, the government may send it back to the commission. But again, the government will also try to resolve the issue at the political level,” he added. 

The agitating Madhes-based parties have been demanding that the local units be put under the jurisdiction of the province. Likewise, they have also stated that they won’t accept the commission’s report unless it recognizes population as the main basis for delineation of new local units. The commission has delineated the local units using both population and geography as the main basis.  

Similarly, they have also demanded that at least 45 percent of the  local units must be in the terai region. The commission has proposed around 30 percent of the 719 local units for the region.  

The parties did not even participate in the local units restructuring process and had obstructed the commission officials from visiting the districts in Province 2 unless their demands were addressed. As a result, the commission was forced to work from trhe centre to delineate local units in the eight  districts of Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Mahottari, Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha and Sarlahi in Province 2. 

“Implementing the report without settling the dispute would invite further complications. So, we have decided to forge consensus before making any formal decision over the matter,” Minister Nayak added. 

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