Commisison warns against too many local units

Published On: September 12, 2016 01:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The commission formed to fix the number and boundaries of the local bodies has said that increasing the number of local bodies above what has been proposed by the commission would not be economically viable. The commission has proposed forming 565 local bodies under the federal setup.  

Speaking in an interaction organized by the National Association of VDCs in Nepal (NAVIN) on Sunday, Shyam Bhurtel, member of the restructuring commission, said that the commission has estimated the total operation cost of all the 565 local units will be over Rs 200 billion. He also warned that the government will be unable to bear the operation cost if the number of the units are increased way above what has been recommended. 

"Around Rs 30 million will be needed only for meeting the administrative expenses of each of the local units. So, a huge amount of money will be needed for operation alone. So, I think all of those concerned must be cautious while determining the number of local units," Bhurtel said, adding, fewer the number of local units, the better it will be for the country.

Similarly, chairman of the commission Balananda Poudel said that 565 local units were recommended keeping in mind the economic viability and constitutional provision. "If you ask me personally, the number of local units proposed by the commission is already more than the country can afford. So, we all need to be very careful about the number," he added. 

He said that the number of local units can be decreased or increased. "We are gathering reports from our district committees. Based on the reports, the number of local units may decrease or increase," he said, adding, the commission will keep in mind the issue of economic viability while finalizing the number of local units. 

As of now, 26 districts have submitted their reports recommending the number of local units to the commission. 

The Nepali Congress, under pressure from its local leaders, has been demanding double the number of local units than what has been proposed by the Commission, while the CPN (Maoist Center) has maintained that the number could be increased through political understanding.

Speaking at the function, chairman of NAVIN, Ghanashyam Khatiwada has urged all the stakeholders to focus their discussions on how the new local units will provide all the services ensured by the constitution to the general public effectively." "Instead of debating over the number of local units, we should better focus on how the new local units can effectively deliver their services to the locals," he added. 

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