KATHMANDU, July 8: The government has proposed decreasing the reservation quota for disabled persons from the current five per cent to four per cent in the draft of the Federal Civil Service Act, a new bill to make the recruitment, promotion, and transfer of civil servants and fixing their salaries in a more systematic way at all the three tires of government in the new federal setup.
Civil servants with disability have expressed serious concern over the government’s move to decrease reservation quota for disabled persons to apply for the civil service in the new federal setup. They have argued that the move will only decrease representation of individuals with disability in the civil service, which already has a dismal share of officials with disabilities in the public administration.
Since 2008, the government started recruiting 45 per cent of its employees under reservation quota for women, indigenous groups, Madhesi, Dalit, disabled persons and those who hail from remote areas. And of the 45 per cent, 5 per cent was allotted for individuals with disabilities. But in the new federal setup, the government is working to decrease the reservation quota for disabled persons by one per cent.
“There is already a dismal number of officials with disabilities in the civil service despite the five per cent reservation quota for us. As a result, our concerns are barely heard. In this situation, the government is working to decrease the quota for disabled individuals, which is not acceptable,” said Indra Prasad Upadhyay, president of the Society of Civil Service Employees with Disability-Nepal.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration still does not have a clear figure about the total number of civil servants with disabilities in the public service even after ten years of ensuring the reservation quota. It is estimated that there are no more than 1,200 officials with disabilities in the civil service which has over 80,000 employees. The recruitment trend of the last two years showed that around 150 individuals were employed in the civil service annually.
He said that the government should give priority to disabled persons while recruiting officials in the civil service as “individuals with disabilities are more vulnerable than any able individual, even if he or she comes from any marginalized community.”
Kashi Raj Dahal, chairman of the High-Level Administration Reform and Monitoring Committee, said that the percentage of reservation quota for disabled persons were decreased by 1 per cent in the draft of the Federal Civil Service Act as the new constitution envisioned that the reservation quota should be ensured in additional four more clusters to ensure inclusion of various marginalized groups.
“The draft is still under discussion. The percentage of the reservation quota for disabled persons can be revised,” he added. However, under reservation quota for women, the draft of the act states that four per cent of the recruited officials must be women with disabilities.
“It is true that the new provision for disabled women under reservation quota for women is likely to increase the representation of female officials with disabilities. Our point is since disability is a physical condition and it can happen to individuals with any caste or community, we urge the government to allocate a certain percentage for disabled individuals in each of the sectors where reservation quota is allotted,” Upadhyay said.