Bills reluctant to devolve rights from Singh Durbar to local levels, complain lawmakers

Published On: July 12, 2017 07:54 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 12: Most of the political parties had strongly mentioned in their election manifestos that various rights and authorities exercised by the Singha Durbar would be taken to the local levels, suiting the changed context. 

But, after the election, the lawmakers from different parties have voiced that the bills being presented in the Legislature-Parliament were not favourable to decentralize the power. They argued that the bills drafted for the management and operation of the local levels and introduced in the Parliament were intended to curtail the rights in local levels. 

The lawmakers speaking at the Parliament meeting Wednesday showed serious objection over the Local Governance Bill-2073, Inter-Governmental Financial Management Bill-2074, Natural Resources and Financial Commission Bill-2074 and Employees Adjustment Bill-2074 which were endorsed unanimously by the parliament. These bills were aimed at curtailing the rights of local governments, they added. 

As most of the budget is spent on employees' salary and office management, the budget with 40 financial rights to local governments is insufficient, the lawmakers argued. 
The concerned parliamentary committees would hold clause wise discussions on the bills again. 

The decentralization and bureaucracy at present were still reflecting the party-less Panchayat system, according to the lawmakers. They wondered why the bills failed to internalize the importance of local government. 

Bharat Bahadur Khadka of the Nepali Congress said the local levels must not be made dependent on grants, but empowered with the identification and mobilization of the resources. 

UML's Purushottam Poudel said the bills were against the spirit of federalism, so it would weaken the base. 

Similarly, Janakraj Joshi of CPN (Maoist Centre) said, "Inter-Governmental Financial Management Bill will contradict with the ambit of the National Financial Commission." 

However, the concerned Ministers argued that the bills would empower local levels and build emotional ties among the people from local, provincial and federal levels. 
The parliament is to meet next at 4:00 pm tomorrow. RSS 

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