KATHMANDU, Dec 11: The first ever meeting of the Inter Province Council (IPC) concluded on Monday, forming a five-member task-force to recommend solutions to the grievances of the provinces and ways to enhance coordination between the center and provinces and tackle other issues.
The Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa-led taskforce is to submit its report to Prime Minister K P Oli on December 18. Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada and Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit are members of the taskforce from the federal government and Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel and Province 2 Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut from provincial governments. Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi will work as member secretary of the taskforce.
“The taskforce is asked to study the challenges facing provinces including power sharing, resource allotment, administrative reconstruction and human resources management, and recommend solutions to the prime minister,” said Chief Minister Pokhrel while emerging from the meeting at the Prime Minister's Office .
Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said that the taskforce is to come up with ideas for implementing federalism and the new constitution effectively, ensuring coordination between the three tiers of government and seeing to proper fiscal management between the center and the provinces.
“We are hopeful that the taskforce will work seriously to identify the problems faced by provinces and find solutions and that implementation of the report will solve everything,” said Lal Babu Raut of Province 2.
Chief Ministers of Province 5 Pokhrel, Sudur Paschim Province Trilochan Bhatta and Karnali Province Shahi put forward their issues at the second-day meeting of the IPC on Monday.
“I asked about indifference on the part of the federal ministers and bureaucrats in implementing federalism. I suggested to Prime Minister Oli to establish a war-room to deal with problems related to constitution and federalism,” Shahi told Republica.
Chief ministers had also suggested the federal government not to engage in minor issues and intra-party rows, keeping in mind the tasks ahead. The chief executives of the three provinces also said that the federal and provincial governments may not achieve success unless they expedite development work on a war-footing.
Chief ministers have accused Singha Durbar of not paying attention to the problems faced by the provinces.
While concluding the meeting, Prime Minister Oli assured full support from the bureaucracy in the functioning of the provinces and the implementation of federalism.