Prime Minister Oli to tackle civil staff crisis at key meeting

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 21, 2018-

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli will meet executive and administrative heads of the seven provinces on Wednesday to discuss and resolve the civil staff crisis.

Government employees’ refusal to report to their provincial offices has stalled all official work for weeks.

More than a month has passed since the Prime Minister’s Office directed all the ministries, in the third week of February, to issue deputation letters to all civil staff within 24-hours and ensure they report to their duty stations immediately.

Despite the directive, the civil staff did not report to their work stations.

Prime Minister Oli will seek solutions to resolve the staff crisis and bridge the differences over the three layers of governments over jurisdiction during the meeting with provincial administrative heads.

While managing staff remains a crucial problem, the lack of appropriate laws, dilemma over taxation stifles the performance of provincial governments.

Considering the gravity of the situation, the governor, chief minister, speaker of Karnali Province and other ministers met with PM Oli on Sunday, and Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit on Monday to apprise them of the problems.

They took the opportunity to meet with PM Oli and Minister Pandit as they were in Kathmandu to attend the presidential and vice-presidential elections.

Chief ministers and principle secretaries from six other provinces have also arrived in Kathmandu for Wednesday meeting.

Talking to the Post, Province 3 Chief Minister Dormani Poudel said, “We still do not have half the required staff. The existence of the federal government entities like regional directorate is also creating a problem.”

He said all the CMs and executive heads from the provinces will table their problems and seek a common solution.

Earlier, the government had informed civil staff to opt for voluntary retirement if they did not wish to work in the provinces.

The Civil Servant Adjustment Act passed in October stipulates deploying staff for provincial government agencies within six months of the elections. Lack of regulations prevents promulgation of the Act.

A recent ministry study shows each rural municipality requires 59 civil staff, a minimum of 200 in a metropolitan city and around 3,000 in the provinces.

The Civil Servant Adjustment Act envisages completing staff management within six months. However, the government is yet to approve the regulation to start the deployment process.

Although the provincial governments have the onus to stipulate their laws, fix salaries and earmark budgets, all the provinces are looking for uniformity on these issues.

Most of the provinces have not yet fixed the remuneration of the local level representatives.

Despite Intergovernmental Fiscal Management Act being in place, the three layers of governments still face the dilemma over taxation and resource mobilisation, say representatives of local and provincial governments.

“We fear that our tenure will be wasted resolving these problems,” said Tashi Lama, chair of the Panchpokhari Thangapal Rural Municipality in Sindhupalchok.

Published: 21-03-2018 08:43

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