Govt dismisses Gyewali, brings Pokharel back

- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu

Jan 12, 2017-

The government on Wednesday handed a pink slip to Sushil Gyewali and appointed Govind Pokharel as the chief executive officer of the National Reconstruction Authority. 

Reacting to his sacking, Gyewali said he was surprised by the government decision as reconstruction work, particularly the work to distribute the first instalment of the housing aid, was just gathering the pace. 

However, the decision was already in the making for some months. When the government on December 29 first asked Gyewali to furnish clarification about his poor performance and delay in reconstruction work, the government was already preparing to relieve him of duties. Concluding that his clarification, submitted on January 4, was not satisfactory, a Cabinet meeting the following day had again asked Gyewali to clarify why he should not be dismissed from the post. 

Gyewali, was appointed to head the NRA by then KP Sharma Oli government on December 25, 2015 for five years. He was serving as the executive director of the Town Development Fund.

Pokharel now will serve as the NRA chief for a second time.

Before Gyewali, then Sushil Koirala government on August 15, 2015—four months after the quake and two months after the international donors’ conference during which over $4 billion was pledged for Nepal’s rebuilding efforts—had appointed Pokharel, who was serving as the vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission, as the NRA CEO through an ordinance. 

But failure to replace the ordinance with a bill had made the NRA invalid and the CEO’s post vacant. 

A Pokharel-led team had prepared the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA), a comprehensive report on the damage and losses caused by the disaster and suggested measures and strategies build back better. 

On his appointment as NRA CEO on Wednesday, Pokharel said he would focus on reconstruction based on the foundation laid by the PDNA and the current activities. 

“My first priority will be bridging the gaps and strengthening coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders, including government agencies and developmental partners,” said Pokharel. 

Gyewali, who has been ousted with the charge of failing to perform, however, said the government move of removing him would affect the overall reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.

Terming the government decision “unjust”, Gyewali has hinted that he will move the court. 

Stating that he was appointed the chief executive officer of the NRA for five years as per Section (11) of the Reconstruction Act, Gyewali has said he will seek legal remedy as he has been removed in an unjust manner by the government. 

While Section 11(3) of the Reconstruction Act says the tenure of the chief executive office shall be of five years from the date of appointment, Section 11(4) says: Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 11(3), the government may at any time remove the chief executive officer if his/ her performance is 

not satisfactory. 

Published: 12-01-2017 07:26

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