Lawmakers on SAC want vacancies at local units to be more inclusive

Published On: June 8, 2019 06:05 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 8: Parliament's State Affairs Committee is planning to direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to scrap vacancies at various local units as these vacancies were against the principle of inclusive representation.

The committee has already drafted a decision to this effect but it has opted to wait until Monday to hear from Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit about the government's position.

Most of the lawmakers on the committee, including those from both ruling and opposition parties, have demanded the scrapping of the PSC vacancies. They said the vacancies were not only against the spirit of federalism but also violated the constitutional provision on inclusive representation. But the lawmakers were divided whether to issue directions to the PSC for scrapping the vacancies on Friday itself or only after hearing from the minister on Monday.

Pampha Bhusal, Bijay Subba and Nawaraj Silwal of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and Dilendra Badu of main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) insisted that the committee shouldn't be in a hurry and should wait till Monday. “I will register a note of dissent if a decision is taken that could spark confrontation between the government and parliament,” said Subba.

Badu of NC also argued that the minister concerned should first be allowed to defend himself before the SAC.

However, Rajendra Mahato of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, Amaresh Kumar Singh of NC, Rajendra Shrestha of Samajbadi Party Nepal and Brijesh Kumar Gupta of the ruling NCP were for issuing directions to the PSC without any delay.

“If we all agree on the content of the directions I don't see any reason to delay a decision,” said Mahato.

Lawmakers representing Province 2 and also the government of the province have been protesting against the PSC vacancies for not ensuring reservations for the deprived communities and gender.

With the lawmakers divided, SAC Chairperson Shashi Shrestha adjourned the meeting until Monday morning. The meeting was earlier adjourned for 5 pm Friday as the minister couldn't attend it at 11 am. But he didn't appear at the second meeting either, citing his busy schedule.

The committee plans to direct the ministry to initiate recruitment at the local level only after ensuring inclusive representation of all clusters as provisioned by the constitution.

Similarly, the committee has also drafted directions to the government for addressing the shortage of civil servants at the local level through the assigning of staff from the federal services until fresh recruitments are made.

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