Taskforce asked to up local units in Province 2

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 21, 2017-The government has directed the three-member government taskforce formed to address the agitating Madhes-based parties’ concerns over the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC) report to increase the number of local bodies and revise the boundaries within a week.

The Cabinet on Monday directed the taskforce led by Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Pandey to revise the report taking the maximum number of local units to 744, up from 719 recommended by the LLRC on January 6. 

As the LLRC had fixed the ceiling of local units at 744, an additional 25 units will be added in the eight districts from Province 2. “The number of local units will be revised not exceeding the ceiling of the commission,” Minister for Law and Justice Ajay Shankar Nayak told the Post. The Cabinet had approved the taskforce’s report which suggested adding local units in Province 2 and redraw the borders in the disputed districts. The taskforce, formed on February 2, had submitted its recommendation to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday evening. 

The locals from the district other than Province 2, mainly from Nuwakot, Bajhang and Khotang, have also been protesting demanding a revision in the recommendation made by the LLRC. Nayak said the taskforce would consult the leaders from the disputed areas before revising the report. The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha has been objecting the commission’s report, saying that the population should be the sole basis for the restructuring of the local bodies. “The final revision will be made taking consent from the commission,” he added. 

The government was considering asking the commission for a revision, but then decided to ask the taskforce to do the job after consulting with the commission officials. The implementation of the LLRC report is a must to hold the local level elections.

The Madhes-centric parties say the LLRC has allocated just 34 percent (236 out of 719 village and municipal councils) of local units in the region, undermining the fact around 51 percent live in 20 districts from Tarai/Madhesi. They are demanding at least another 100 local units to be added to the region taking a total number of local units to 820. However, even if the taskforce adds 25 local units in the Tarai, the share of the region in total numbers of local units will be just around 36 percent.

Published: 21-02-2017 08:16

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