Executive power for PM in reconstruction body

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 30, 2015-

The new ordinance to create a reconstruction authority following the April 25 earthquake has entrusted ‘sweeping authority’ to its head, the prime minister.

The government has recently introduced the ordinance with a view to swiftly implement reconstruction work of thousands of structures. The ordinance provisions jurisdictions in execution and implementation of reconstruction works to be carried out by the PM-led body. According to the ordinance, the PM will have all executive rights to control the body and enforce its tasks. Several quarters have, however, raised concerns over whether the PM will be able to give ample time to the authority, specially at a time when the PM heads over a dozen other bodies. A national reconstruction consultative body, also headed by the PM, will formulate policy and programmes for reconstruction. The time, venue and date for the consultative body to meet will be fixed by the PM.

The reconstruction authority will have a Chief Executive Officer appointed by the PM. The CEO can be sacked if his or her performance is found unsatisfactory. However, before given the sack, the CEO will be given an opportunity for explanation. Similarly, clause (4) of the ordinance states that the PM will appoint three experts from various fields and will remain in their posts unless the PM decides to sack them. The tenure of the authority will be for five years. The PM, in co-ordination with the CEO, will also appoint a secretary to the authority.

The chairman of the authority will moreover have veto power in voting of the authority if divided over any issue. The authority will have 21 types of tasks and duties.

“To swiftly execute and implement reconstruction works, no incumbent laws regarding land acquisition, land registration, public procurement and environment assessment will be applied,” said Article 7 of the ordinance.

A development assistance and facilitation committee will also be formed to monitor programmes executed by foreign aid and grant. The committee will be led by the CEO where members of the international development partners and civil society will be included.

The authority will have the right to place instructions on any government official and can write to concerned government offices to take action against those who fail to follow the authority’s instructions.

The ordinance envisions the authority to make its administrative function public every four months, which would follow by a public hearing of the authority. A three-member tribunal will also be formed to look after the grievances and complaints of the decisions and instructions made by of the authority. The tribunal will have similar rights enjoyed by other Nepali courts.

Published: 01-07-2015 07:43

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