Unhappy with performance of his team, Oli demands results

Published On: September 27, 2019 07:21 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Prime Minister KP Oli has expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of his cabinet ministers after most of them failed to show expected change in their working style as pledged in the work performance agreements signed around two months ago.

After listening to briefings from the secretaries of various ministries during a preliminary review meeting of work performance agreement at Baluwatar on Thursday, a disappointed Oli had demanded clarification from the line ministers for their failure in taking forward the works listed in the work performance agreement. 

On July 31, Oli and his cabinet ministers had signed a work performance agreement wherein the latter had agreed to complete 7 to 20 tasks.  But most of the ministers have yet to start working on the tasks. 

During the meeting, the ministers had briefed the prime minister on the legal and procedural hassles they were facing while executing the tasks. Some had cited the recent transfers of secretaries for the delays.  “We briefed him on the progress made in the implementation of work agreement and problems we are facing,” Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit, who was present at the meeting, told Republica.

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal said that Oli directed them to classify the tasks and work on the urgent tasks first. He had also stressed the need for fast-tracking some infrastructural projects including the Melachi Water Supply Project.

“He asked us to focus on the programs under the fiscal budget,” said Khanal. 

Oli then directed the ministers to come up with substantive progress in the next meeting scheduled for next month. 

He has long expressed unhappiness over the delay in the implementation of the programs listed under the current fiscal budget. At a meeting held after unveiling of the fiscal budget earlier this year, Oli had urged ministers to make sure that the budget is spent in an effective and timely manner.  Last year, nearly half of the fiscal budget was spent in the fourth quarter, especially in last weeks.

The much-hyped work performance agreement has brought little change in the working style of the government which, of late, is coming under growing pressure for failing to deliver on its poll promise of ‘Happy Nepal and Prosperous Nepal’. 

Although they had themselves listed off the tasks, ministers said a numerous factors including legal and procedural hurdles, and lack of cooperation from government staffs were creating problems. Some ministers complained that Oli’s excessive clout on their ministries was emerging as hindrance to timely completion of the tasks. Oli has undertaken multiple major bureaucratic reshuffle since taking the reins of the government last year. Lately, he had transferred 16 secretaries just a month after signing work performance agreements.

Lack of clear deadline has also been cited as a major reason affecting the performance of the ministers. Hardly 20 percent of works assigned to the ministers under the work performance agreement are time-bound.

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