KATHMANDU, Aug 2: Representatives of local units have expressed serious concerns over the federal government’s stalling scheduled foreign trips of the local representatives “in an arbitrary fashion”.
A delegation led by Mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality Ashok Byanju on behalf of Nepal Municipalities Association, an umbrella association of the representatives of all the local units, met with Prime Minister KP Oli and Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit last week to ask them not to stall scheduled foreign trips of local representatives under the pretext of austerity.
“Foreign trips of representatives of some big local units are endorsed without hassles by the federal affairs ministry but representatives from smaller and outlying local units are being barred from making such trips.
Therefore our team asked the prime minister and the federal affairs minister to develop a criteria for such trips and treat all the local units in a fair manner,” Kala Nidhi Devkota, executive member of the association, said.
The ministry of federal affairs endorsed a trip of Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office Bidya Sundar Shakya to Japan. Shakya flew to Japan Wednesday.
However, foreign trips of local units including Chhayanath Rara Municipality, Nepalgunj Sub Metropolitan City and Chandannath Municipality were cancelled by the ministry earlier.
“The current local units are governments in themselves under the federal setup. Local representatives can seek funds for various development projects and also seek other cooperation during their foreign trips. So we urge the government not to stall our trips,” Bhattarai said.
During their meeting with the prime minister, the delegation submitted a 16-point memorandum, asking the government to issue guidelines for foreign trips among other things. Prime Minister Oli assured that the federal government would come up with a guideline to regulate foreign trips of local representatives.
Meanwhile, the delegation has also asked the federal government to deploy necessary manpower to the local units as soon as possible so that they can function in a full-fledged manner as envisioned by the constitution. Currently, the ministry of federal affairs is collecting details about manpower requirement of each local units, according to officials concerned.
The ministry plans to start integrating civil servants based on the need of the local units after a month.