Objections to local units changing their name or centre

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 13, 2017-The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has said that about 30 local units have changed their name or centre where their office is located, going against the Order on Operation of Local Level Governance issued by the Centre.

The order circulated on March 7, 2017 states that a local federal unit needs to recommend the central government a change in the name or centre after the village or municipal assembly endorses the proposal with a majority.

The local unit should complete the procedure within six months of the elected representatives assuming their office. Then the central government can make changes as proposed by issuing a notice on the Nepal Gazette.

But ministry officials said around 30 local units failed to follow the directive.

For example, Harihar-purgadhi Rural Municipality, Sindhuli; Madhav Narayan Rural Municipality, Rautahat and Parbatikunda Rural Municipality, Rasuwa have changed the centres without following the prescribed procedure.

The ministry on September 8 reminded the local units about the provision of the order. Officials said that the change in name and address without following the due procedure could complicate public service delivery.“If the changed name or centre is not legally recognised, it may complicate the process of receiving citizenship or passport,” said Rudra Singh Tamang, spokesperson for the ministry.

The Bill on the Operation of Local Government which the parliamentary Development Committee passed on Sunday authorises the central government to name or change the name or centre of the local units.

For one time, the Village Assembly or Municipal Assembly can decide changing the name or centre of the local unit through a majority vote within six months of the first election of local units. Then the central government will have to change the name or centre accordingly.

For changing the name and centre on other occasions, the bill requires a two-thirds majority of Village Assembly or Municipal Assembly to propose changes to the central government.Experts say the Centre should have some say on changing the name or centre of the local units for practical reasons. “Acceptability of important documents like passport, citizenship, land ownership certificates and educational certificates is ensured by involvement of the central government,” said Khim Lal Devkota, an expert on fiscal decentralisation.

Published: 13-09-2017 08:35

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