Commissioners divided over local units

Published On: October 19, 2016 01:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 19: The task of restructuring the local units under the new federal system is getting tougher as members of the commission formed to restructure the local units are divided over considering Ilakas as a basis for the restructuring. As a result, the commission has not been able to come up with a new number of local units to be created even after continuous deliberations for the past three days. 

Since Monday, the chairman of the commission, Balananda Poudel, has been holding talks with all the seven members of the commission on revising the commission's proposal to create 565 local units. This comes after the government expanded the terms of reference, requiring it to use the ilakas as one basis for local restructuring. 

But as the members of the commission are divided over considering Ilakas as a basis for the restructuring, the commission also on Tuesday could not settle for a new number of local units.

The commission will continue its meeting on Wednesday also to finalize the matter.   

Sunil Ranjan Singh, a member of the commission who has been expressing strong reservations against making Ilakas as a basis since the beginning, on Tuesday submitted an application to Chairman Poudel demanding that local units be created in districts of the Terai region on the basis of population instead of Ilakas. 

He has argued that taking Ilakas as a basis for local restructuring will reduce the number of local units in the Tarai region. 

According to the current proposal, around 33 percent of the 565 local units would be in 20 districts of the Terai region. But if Ilakas are made a basis, this percent is likely to decrease and there will be fewer local units in the Tarai.   

In his application, he has stated that he rejects the government's decision to make Ilakas as a basis of local restructuring and also demanded that the task of restructuring be carried out in two phases. He has said that in the first phase, number and borders of local units be finalized and in the last phase, number of special, protected and autonomous areas be finalized.   

Likewise, other members of the commission are also divided over how much additional local units can be added to the proposed 565 units after taking Ilakas as a basis.

While some members are for increasing the number of the local units to over 700, some members are for limiting the local units below 700. 

Poudel said that the commission will again hold a meeting with its members on Wednesday to propose a new number of local units. 

“We will try our best to finalize the matter by Wednesday. We are trying to limit the number of local units to 700,” he added. 

He said that delay in finalizing a new number of local units will only delay the restructuring task, meaning that the commission will not be able to submit its report to the government by mid-November as requested by the prime minister.

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