744 new local units come into effect

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 15, 2017-

As many as 744 local units, which came into existence with their listing on the Nepal Gazette on Friday, have become operational after Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Deputy PM and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kamal Thapa inaugurated them amid a special programme in Lalitpur Metropolitan City on Tuesday.

The local government bodies have started their services across the country under the respective District Coordination Committees as municipal councils and village councils.

People accessing services from 3,157 VDCs and 217 municipalities in the past will now have to go to four metropolises, 13 sub-metropolises, 246 municipal councils and 481 village councils for official works. The constitution grants 22 absolute powers to the local units while they share 15 more powers with the central and provincial governments.

“The village and municipal councils will perform a majority of the tasks that districts, zones, regions and even Kathmandu did in the past,” PM Dahal said at the programme. “The power of Singha Durbar has reached the people’s doorsteps with the new local bodies coming into effect.”

According to the new constitution, the local governments can manage city police, cooperatives, grant permission to FM stations, collect local taxes including on housing and tourism, and manage basic and secondary education. They also have jurisdictions over disaster management, maintenance of drinking water systems and small projects.

Along with the central and provincial governments, they will manage higher education, health, uses of natural resources, and mining and minerals, among others.

The VDC offices have now been turned into ward offices of the respective village councils as at least two VDCs were merged to form a village council. The VDC’s authority has now shifted to the ward office.

Meanwhile, the effort of the Local Development Ministry to deploy executive heads to municipal councils failed on Tuesday in a short supply of officials. The joint-secretary works as the head of a metropolis and sub-metropolis while an under-secretary leads the municipal and village councils. Out of the additional 200 under secretaries in need, the Ministry of General Administration has deputed only 64 so far. “Hopefully, we can deploy chiefs to all the local bodies within a couple of days,” said Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari.

Published: 15-03-2017 09:35

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