Cabinet trims secretaries at ministries

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 4, 2018-

The Cabinet on Tuesday decided to arrange single secretary at all the central government ministries except for the Finance Ministry where the current provision of two secretaries will be continued. The move will sharply reduce the number of secretaries at the central government offices from the current 72. Besides the Prime Minister’s Office, there are 21 ministries.  


The PMO currently has seven secretaries, while the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives have three secretaries each. Four ministries each have two secretaries, who are looking after different departments following the recent consolidation of 31 ministries to 21.


Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang said a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to have a single secretary at 20 ministries and two only at the Finance Ministry. The number of ministries has been reduced in line with a constitutional provision that states the central government can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the prime minister.


“The Cabinet’s decision is also based on recent ‘Organisation and Management Survey’ of the ministries approved by the last Cabinet meeting,” Minister Tamang said.

The survey report had proposed to reduce the number of employees at the central level ministries to 2,654 from the current 3,260 during the staff adjustment process.

Tuesday’s Cabinet decision will not be implemented immediately, though, as the surplus secretaries could be shifted to other government offices. 


“If any secretary retires from the ministry where there more than one secretary, the vacant post will not be filled through promotion,” said Minister Tamang. “The existing secretary will take over the role of the retiring secretary in the ministry.”


The number secretaries surged over the years as the successive governments have engaged in fragmenting ministries to accommodate more ministers in their Cabinets.  While seven secretaries have been assigned as chief secretary in seven provincial governments, while several others are in charge at commissions.


Govt secretaries (present strength)



Office of Auditor General 5

Office of Attorney General 4

Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply 3

Ministry of Agri, Land Mgmt and Cooperatives 3

Ministry of Finance 2

Ministry of Forest and Environment 2

Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Admn 2

Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation 2

Other govt agencies (one each) 42

Total 72

Published: 04-04-2018 08:34

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