Draft of Federal Civil Service Act sent by MoFAGA gathering dust at Finance Ministry

Published On: May 26, 2023 07:45 PM NPT By: Bhuwan Sharma

KATHMANDU, May 26: The draft of the Federal Civil Service Act, which was prepared and sent for approval by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) to the Ministry of Finance about two months ago is gathering dust at the ministry.

In the government’s policies and programs presented by President Ram Chandra Paudel in parliament on May 19, he has given the highest priority to the Federal Civil Service Act and said that it will be presented in the current session of the parliament. On the other hand, in the month of February, the Supreme Court directed the government to bring the Federal Civil Service Act within nine months.

After the order of the Supreme Court, the government is under immense pressure. The government is under pressure to bring the law within this October. But the Ministry of Finance did not agree with the draft. Due to this, the Federal Civil Service Act is still uncertain. In the absence of the law, difficulties have arisen in matters related to the resignation of staff, transfer and recruitment of new staff. It has been eight years since the country adopted federalism. But the government is yet to formulate the Federal Civil Service Act. It has been five years since the government started drafting the Act. But the administration law has not been passed yet.

Kamal Bhattarai, Spokesperson and Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Federal Affairs, said that when he inquired about the Federal Civil Service Act from the officials of the Ministry of Finance, he only got the reply that 'we are still researching'. According to sources at the Ministry of Finance, some of the points in the draft should be amended based on the opinion of the high officials of the Ministry of Finance.

According to sources of the Ministry of Finance, it seems that the expenses of the state will increase by at least Rs 8 billion just to provide salary to the employees if the draft prepared by the Ministry of Federal Affairs is not amended.

In the draft sent to the Ministry of Finance, arrangements have been made to increase the eight levels of government employees to 15 levels. Accordingly, all the employees who have worked for five to eight years will be automatically promoted one level as per the provisions in the draft. Most of the employees will be automatically promoted one level by this provision. This will add rupees worth billions to the expenditure of the state to pay salaries. Currently, more than Rs 1 trillion is spent every year just to pay the employees.

The laws related to civil service are being run under the Civil Service Act drafted 31 years ago.

At that time, the country was under a centralized system of government, but now, although the country has adopted federalism, the administration is still being governed by old laws. 

According to sources, in the draft sent to the Ministry of Finance, the retirement age limit of employees has been kept at 60 years.

In the current law, the retirement age limit is 58 years. There has been a controversy over whether to keep the retirement age at 58 or 60 years. The Public Service Commission used to recommend the government to raise the retirement age from 58 years to 60 years every year. In the draft, it has been arranged that the retirement age will be 60 years from Shrawan (mid July to mid August) 2023.

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