National

PM convenes Inter-state Council meet on Dec 9

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Province 1 CM Rai says the meeting will discuss ways to resolve the problems in federalism implementation process

Nov 17, 2018-Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has scheduled the first meeting of Inter-state Council for December 9—three months after its abrupt postponement.

Laxman Prasad Mainali, who heads the secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office that looks after social Development and Provincial Coordination, confirmed that the PMO was preparing for the first meeting of the council.

“The invitations have not been sent yet, but we are laying the necessary groundwork for the meeting,” Mainali said.

Earlier, the PMO sources had claimed that PM Oli had postponed the meeting, citing lack of preparations.

Joint secretary Alok Chandra Shrestha, who leads the Law and Verdict Implementation Division at the PMO, said all necessary laws related to the provinces were also being drafted.

 “We have prepared the preliminary draft of the Inter-Province Coordination Bill. Meanwhile, the government is also working on Federal Police Act, Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance, and Federal Public Service Commission Act, among others,” he said.

With no legal framework in place, the provinces are facing a tough time running their daily operations. They have accused the federal government of being reluctant to devolve power to them.

Chief advisor to the Prime Minister Bishnu Rimal said the meeting of the council will convene after the necessary laws related to the provinces have been finalised.

 “We will finalise most of the issues by December,” he said.

 The Oli Cabinet recently issued an executive order allowing the provinces to mobilise police up to sub-inspector’s rank until the necessary laws are in place.

The major concerns of the provinces include clarity in jurisdictions of the three-tier government—which must be immediately resolved by drafting a law; meagre budget for development works; central government not handing over infrastructures, properties and documents to the provincial governments, and lack of cordial relationship and co-operations among the three governments.

Province 1 Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai said the meeting will discuss ways to resolve the problems and challenges they have been facing for proper implementation of federalism.

“Currently, provinces have no teeth to function independently. We will discuss on all the aspects including close coordination with the centre,” Rai said.

Article 234 of the constitution has proposed for an Inter-state council to settle political disputes between the federal government and the state government and between states.

The council comprises the prime minister as the chairperson, home minister, finance minister and chief ministers.

Published: 17-11-2018 09:08

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