KATHMANDU, August 23: The Chief Minister (CM) of Province 1, Rajendra Kumar Rai, has alleged that development has become dictatorial after the formation of the provincial structures under federalism.
He said this while speaking at a discussion program held in Province 1 of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Federalism Implementation, Study and Monitoring on Tuesday. He claimed that the ministers of the federal ministries have 5/6 times more budget than that of a province, but the provincial governments have implemented more plans than the federal government in the districts. He alleged that the leadership of the union is criticizing the province government and local government for having too much power and budget. Saying that despite not being given sufficient budget and authority, the provincial government has implemented more projects than that of the federal government, he challenged Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to come to the province and count the number of plans and projects implemented in the province.
Chief Minister Rai mentioned that the province has done good work even though the federal government has not given enough authority and budget and warned against unnecessary review and criticism. Chief Minister Rai asserted that the province has the ability to show how development work is done if it gets the budget and authority for the same. He said that the financial situation of the provincial government is dire in every way. He complained that the budget of the provincial government could not build 14 blacktopped roads in five years. He said that if federalism is what is needed, the budget for the projects other than the projects of national pride should be given to the provinces.
Chief Minister Rai said that the KP Sharma Oli-led government failed to finalize the name of Province 1 and entrusted the responsibility to the province itself, saying that it was wrong to put a gun on the shoulder of the Chief Minister. He claimed that the previous government had already raised the issue of naming the province on the basis of identity and could not bear the criticism and entrusted it to others. He mentioned that the practice of federalism in Nepal is not as it should be in principle and said that federalism could not be designed as expected. He said that it is not possible to evaluate federalism now and say that federalism has failed in Nepal.