Govt delays essential local governance laws

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Kathmandu mayor says their hands are tied in the lack of laws. Local councils are unable to take policy decisions

Jul 9, 2017-While the newly elected people’s representatives are waiting for the Local Level Governance Act for effective works at the local federal units, the government has been delaying the process to endorse the bill from Parliament.

Tabulation of the bill was on the agenda of the Legislature-Parliament on Friday. However, it was not tabled as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Bijay Kumar Gachhadar remained absent, further delaying the process by at least two days. The next House meeting is on Sunday.

The Act is mandatory for a full-fledged functioning of the local units carved out as provisioned in the new constitution.

Nearly two months since the first-phase local polls were held, the government is yet to ready necessary legislation while a majority of the people’s representatives elected in the second phase have also assumed office.

“Our hands have been tied in the lack of laws. We are unable to take policy decisions,” Bidhya Sundar Shakya, the mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, told the Post. The Local Development Ministry has issued a list of some 350 activities that the local bodies cannot undertake without the Act.

Besides the Local Level Governance Act, 13 more laws are required to govern the activities at the local level, according to Rudra Singh Tamang, spokesperson for the ministry. Elections have been held in six provinces in 627 of the total 744 local units.

Specific laws are necessary to govern taxation, expenditures, resource management, education and health services, among others. The government has registered two more bills: Inter Government Financial Management Bill and National Natural Resources and Financial Commission Bill-2074 in Parliament for endorsement.

Published: 09-07-2017 08:18

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