LLRC chair makes a bid to clear up parties’ confusion

  • debate over local units
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 27, 2016-As the debate rages among major parties over the numbers of local units, the Local Level Restructuring Commission has said it is merely a reflection of parties ignorance in differentiating local bodies from local levels.

Talking to the Post on Friday, Chairman of the LLRC Balananda Poudel said the local units are the local governments that decentralise the works of Sindha Durbar, regional directorates and district headquarters, while continuing with the works done by local bodies. He said that 565 municipal and village councils will have power to formulate laws, decide on various policies, issue citizenship certificates, among others, which are currently vested in the central government and district headquarters. 

Poudel’s response comes at a time while various political parties, mainly the Nepali Congress and regional parties, have demanded an increase in the number of local units from the proposed 565. The national gathering of district presidents of the largest party of the country had demanded that the number of local units be increased to a minimum of 1,000. Similarly, the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) is also in favour of increasing the number, though it has not clearly announced the size yet. 

Curtailing the numbers of the local units, according to them, would create problems for the people to access the state facilities and government services. 

The CPN-UML and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal have, however, welcomed the commission’s decision and asked it to further reduce the numbers. Currently, there are 217 municipalities and 3,157 village development committees, taking the number of local units to 3,374. 

“I think it’s our failure to aware them about what actually local level means,” committee chair Poudel said. “The constitution has explicitly defined the functions of local government which is significantly more than what local bodies are doing at present.” 

He said that all the existing VDC’s and ward offices of the municipalities will be functioning as service centres after the restructuring. Poudel said the commission has done a extensive study, evaluated various factors, including population size, geography, composition of the community, economic viability, while determining the numbers. 

“There is a rationale behind proposing 565 units though the number may vary slightly while the final report of the technical committee is out,” he said. The technical committees are expected to submit their final report by the end of this month. He said that 300 would be the perfect number if the economic viability is taken into consideration. “So we will recommend to go for a voluntary or even mandatory merger after evaluating their performance,” he added.

Published: 27-08-2016 08:30

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