Published On: January 31, 2023 02:30 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma
KATHMANDU, Jan 31: The government has prepared a draft Federal Civil Service Bill so as to allow promotions of employees without requiring them to work in remote areas. The draft is set to be presented to the federal parliament soon. A source at the federal affairs ministry stated that the promotion provisions in the draft have been included to benefit staff with access to the higher-ups and employee union leaders. If the draft provisions are to be implemented as they are, government employees will not have to serve in remote areas of the country for promotions nor will there be any role of their work performance evaluation in promotions.
The situation of batch promotions, similar to the army and police, exists where senior employees are likely to be promoted even with poor performance evaluations or without working in remote areas, according to a source at the ministry. This benefits only the employees union leaders and employees who are smart and have access to the higher-ups, and discourages those working in the area. There is still a significant shortage of staff in difficult, remote Himalayan regions, with many employees unwilling to go there. Some have already left due to a desire for promotions. If promotions can be achieved without working in remote areas, this shortage of employees in those regions will increase, and the incentive to perform well in order to be promoted will disappear.
Secretary of the Ministry of Federal Affairs, Arjun Prasad Pokharel said that he was unaware of the promotion provisions in the draft Civil Service Bill. "In order to be promoted, one should go to and serve in the remote areas and the performance evaluation should be considered as the basis," Pokharel said. He also said that work is being done to bring the Federal Civil Service Act immediately. According to ministry sources, after the change of government, the Ministry of Law has sent the draft of the Federal Civil Service Bill back to the Ministry of Federal Affairs.
Earlier, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had sent the draft to the law ministry to seek its approval for the draft Federal Civil Service Bill. The ministry source said, "The law ministry has sent the draft back to the Ministry of Federal Affairs, asking it to reconsider if the draft needs to be reconsidered in the changed context and then resubmit."
The provisions in the draft
In the promotion provisions of the Federal Civil Service Bill prepared by the government, the number of remote areas has been increased from 16 to 20, but this is only for show. Scoring 20 marks in remote areas will not be given priority for promotion. The ministry source said, "If there is no change in the draft, the marks that have gone to remote areas will not be of much use." The draft states that the minimum criteria to be promoted is to be at the local level or province or in remote areas. In other words, an employee who has worked at a local level in Kathmandu can also be promoted. It is enough if you work at the local level; it does not matter where you worked at the local level.
In the draft, seniority is the first priority and performance evaluation is the second priority for promotion. As the country has adopted federalism, the employees who prepared the draft said that the system of having to live in remote areas for promotion was given low priority, but even now there are many development centers under the union in remote areas, but there is a large number of staff shortages. Currently there are three provisions for promotion in the Civil Service Act -file promotion, internal competition and open competition. File promotion is also two-tiered. Promotion is arranged based on performance evaluation and seniority. There are three ways of promotion based on seniority. According to the law, the first priority is to serve in a difficult geographical area, the second is to have worked for a long time (senior) and the third priority is to give a performance evaluation.
The Federal Civil Service Act was drafted in 2075. Since then, seven persons have served as the minister for federal affairs and general administration. Similarly the ministry has seen seven secretaries since then. During this period, Lalbabu Pandit, Hridayesh Tripathi, Ganesh Thagunna, Ganesh Pahadi and Rajendra Shrestha became the general administration minister. The then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also held this ministry for some time. Currently Amanlal Modi is the federal affairs and general administration minister. Similarly, Dinesh Thapalia, Surya Gautam, Suresh Adhikari (acting), Yadav Koirala, Eknarayan Aryal, Suresh Adhikari have served and currently Arjun Pokharel is working as the secretary of the ministry. Senior officials of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration say that without the introduction of the Federal Civil Service Act, there has been difficulty in various tasks including moral development, reassignment and transfer of employees.
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