Local Governance Act under process

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 14, 2017-Two weeks after completion of the second phase of local level elections, the Legislature-Parliament has finally started the process to endorse the bill on Local Governance Act, which is a must for a full fledged operation of the elected local councils.

Amid confusion among the people’s representatives in proceeding with their works, the government on Tuesday tabled the bill in Parliament. Deliberation on the legislation will start on Thursday.

Out of the 744 local federal units, election has been held in 617, with the elected representatives assuming their roles in most bodies. However, without the law, they are carrying out only the routine administrative works.

The bill registered in Parliament on May 12 was tabled for discussion two months later. 

According to the bill, two or more municipalities or Rural Municipalities can merge into one if the proposal is endorsed by a majority of the councils from the respective local units. 

They can be merged if they deem it necessary for financial or other reasons. While formulating the local units, officials at the Local Level Restructuring Commission had argued that only 300 units are economically viable.

The bill also authorises the local governments to change their names and administrative centres with a majority decision of the council. 

The Constitution of Nepal grants the local level units legislative, executive and judicial rights. The bill also delegates authority to them to manage teachers, staff and education up to the basic level—Grade 8—and oversee basic medical care.

The local legislature has the power to formulate local laws in line with the Act drafts provided by the Centre while the local judiciary can decide cases related to irrigation, daily wages and pastures, among others. 

If the bill is endorsed without amendment, the local units will have their own city police, can issue land ownership certificates and collect revenue on property, besides registering births, deaths and marriages.

After deliberation, lawmakers will be allowed to register amendments prior to the tabling of the bill for endorsement.

Published: 14-07-2017 08:03

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