KATHMANDU, May 22: The government is preparing to review its decision to go for a two-day weekend after it received complaints that it was unworkable. The government has reached the stage of retreating due to the complexity in the implementation of the decision that was announced without proper study and homework.
Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Suresh Adhikari said that according to the government, the decision will be considered as a trial for a month and a half and will be reviewed if any problem is found. Chief Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi convened a meeting of secretaries on Friday to review the effectiveness of the decision of providing two-day holidays a week.
At the meeting, the secretaries briefed on the impracticalities of the provision of services and other essential services under the Ministry of Health. "Especially health workers and doctors have complained that two days’ holiday a week is impractical," said Secretary Adhikari.
Similarly, Secretary Adhikari said that they are preparing to provide replacement leave to the employees so that the essential services are not affected by this decision. "We are preparing to keep the office open on Sunday so that the essential services including drinking water, electricity, telecommunication and passports are not affected. These employees who are working on Sunday can get replacement leave on some other days instead," he said. He also mentioned the decision to provide holidays two days a week would be reviewed next week as well.
Likewise, officials at the development ministries said the government's two-day weekend decision could affect development works. "The decision to provide two days holiday a week will affect the regular development and monitoring work being carried out by the government," said a joint secretary under the Ministry of Urban Development. ‘The construction work, as stated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, does not fall within the scope of essential services. Therefore, government vehicles cannot be driven on Sundays. This could affect the construction work.”
As an effort to reduce the use of fuel which is straining the national economy, the government decided to enforce a two-day holiday a week from May 15. The government has taken such a decision on the recommendation of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC). The employees of NOC state that the amount of fuel saved per month from the decision of a two-day holiday a week will be calculated in mid-June. They have estimated that taking two days off a week can save a maximum of five percent of fuel.