KATHMANDU, July 26: The government is planning to stop transfers of local development officers (LDOs) in all 75 districts till mid-March next year upon the recommendation of the commission to determine and fix the number and boundaries of local bodies. The commission has said that the transfer of the LDOs will hamper its task.
The commission is entrusted with the responsibility to determine the number and boundaries of village councils, municipalities and special, protected or autonomous regions for restructuring the local bodies as per the federal set up adopted in the new constitution.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has formed a local level restructuring technical assistance committee in each district led by LDO to assist the commission in preparing its report. Similarly, section officers of District Administration Office, District Technical Office, District Land Revenue Office, District Survey Office, District Forest Office and District Statistical Office are members of the committee while planning, monitoring and administrative officer of the District Development Committee is the member secretary.
The government officially transfers civil servants in the two-month period starting from August every year.
As the transfer of the LDOs and other officials in the technical assistance committee may hamper the local restructuring task, the commission had sent a letter requesting the MoFALD not to transfer the officials until mid-March next year. As per the constitutional provision, the commission must complete its work and submit its report to the government by mid-March next year making recommendations on the number and boundaries of village councils, municipalities and special, protected or autonomous areas.
“We are planning to stop transfer of the LDOs as per the commission's request,” said Joint-Secretary of MoFALD Madhu Sudhan Burlakoti. He also said that the ministry is writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Land Reform and Management, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, National Planning Commission requesting them not to transfer the officials in order to support the commission's work.
Joint-Secretary Burlakoti said that the ministry will soon reach a formal decision on the matter. He, however, said that since a new government was going to be formed soon, stopping the new ministers from transferring LDOs and other officials would be a challenge because the first move of new ministers is often to build their teams in the ministry.
Balananda Poudel, chairman of the commission, said that the commission requested the ministry not to transfer LDOs and other officials of the technical assistance committee as the commission has already given orientation to them and that they have already initiated their filed work. “We will have to again train new officials and it adversely affects our work. So, we have asked the government to cooperate with us,” he said.
Last week, during a secretary-level meeting at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi had also asked secretaries of the concerned ministries to cooperate with the commission.