With ink hardly dry on performance contracts, PM shuffles secretaries

Published On: August 21, 2019 06:52 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 21: Making a mockery of his own initiative to have top officials sign work performance contracts, Prime Minister K P Oli has transferred the government secretaries just weeks after such contracts were signed between ministers and their respective secretaries. 

Prime Minister Oli transferred over a dozen secretaries on Monday night, including those who had just signed  work performance contracts with their ministers. 

“About one and half dozen secretaries were transferred on Monday. I think this is very usual,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav. 

After getting all the ministers to sign work performance contracts on July 31, Prime Minister Oli had instructed them to have their secretaries sign similar contracts with them and so on down the chain of command. 

Following Oli’s directions, some of the ministers had their secretaries sign the performance contracts in just the recent weeks. 

At least four of the newly transferred secretaries, including Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Secretary Gopi Mainali, Irrigation Secretary Sanjay Sharma, Education Secretary Khagraj Baral and Labor and Employment Secretary Mahesh Prasad Dahal, had signed their contracts with their respective ministers just last week or the week before. 

Baral had signed his contract with Education, Science and Technology Minister Pokharel on Thursday, and Pokharel  was astonished to find Baral transferred to the Ministry of Health and Population by Tuesday, said a source. 

Some of the ministers have actually protested the prune minister’s unilateral decision after meeting him, said sources at Baluwatar. 

Drinking Water and Irrigation Minister Bina Magar and Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Padhma Kumari Aryal protested the decision after meeting  Prime Minister Oli at his residence. According to sources, Magar is unhappy with the transfer of Madhav Belbase to her ministry from the National Vigilance Center. Similarly, Aryal was  disgruntled over the transfer of Surya Prasad Gauram to her ministry from the Office of the Comptroller General. According to sources, Land Management Secretary Gopi Prasad Mainali has been transferred to the Comptroller General’s Office. 

The sources said Irrigation Secretary Sanjay Sharma has been transferred to Science and Technology, Commerce Secretary Kedar Prasad Adhikari to Tourism, Tourism Secretary Mohan Krishna Sapkota to the Public Procurement Monitoring Office, and Health Secretary Ram Prasad Thapaliya to Youth and Sports . 

PM Oli had transferred 30 secretaries at  a single go in April last year also, irking various ministers who were not even notified .  Oli  took over the power to transfer government secretaries after he came back into office in February 2018 .

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