2 ministries contest chief appointments

  • town development committees
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 26, 2017-Political appointments of chiefs at the Town Development Committees by the Ministry of Urban Development have sparked a conflict with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, raising doubts over the centre’s commitment to devolving power to local governments.

Citing a Cabinet decision of June that the MOFALD and the MOUD should run the TDCs jointly based on an agreed procedure, the new minister started making political appointments.

Minister Prabhu Sah has decided to form a three-member panel on behalf of the MOUD including a senior divisional engineer and two secretaries to develop the work procedure.

However, MOFALD officials claim that the appointments of the chiefs of the TDCs grossly violate the spirit of the constitution to devolve power to the local level. When all the infrastructure of the TDCs was to be handed over to the respective local federal unit, appointing TDCs chiefs undermines the local councils. Out of the 308 TDCs across the country, positions of 109 chiefs were vacant. But the urban development minister appointed at least 19 chiefs.

Minister Sah had decided that the TDCs would work in close coordination with the local councils.

“After direction from two parliamentary committees, we had forwarded a document seeking the MOUD’s consent to dissolve the TDCs. The ministry started appointing the chiefs instead,” said MOFALD secretary Dinesh Thapaliya.

The appointments also violate the direction of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and Development Committee that had directed the authorities to dissolve the TDCs and hand over the property to the local level. Former MOUD minister Arjun Narsingh KC said he appointed some 100 chiefs at the TDCs as the ministry wanted their continuation to support the local governments technically. 

MOUD Spokesperson Ramesh Prasad Singh, however, said the TDCs would be a part of the local councils ultimately but there were some problems in dissolving them right away. TDCs served technical with land pooling for instance and coordinated between two or more local councils in areas covering more than one local units.

Published: 26-07-2017 07:46

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