No progress on fixing provincial headquarters yet as polls near

  • Logistics preparation delayed as panel’s recommendations gather dust
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 17, 2017-

The election cycle for the provincial elections has already started with the parties filing nominations of their proportional representation candidates on Sunday, but there is no clarity yet on provincial headquarters. Nor is there any progress regarding the infrastructure for provincial assemblies, ministries and administrative offices. 

The High level Administrative Restructuring Committee led by Minister for General Administration Tek Bahadur Basnet three weeks ago tabled its recommendations at Cabinet for endorsement. The recommendation was then sent to the Financial and Infrastructure Committee of the Cabinet led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara for further study. But the committee is yet to take any decision owing to differences between Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and ministers of the CPN (Maoist Centre) whose decision to form a left electoral alliance with the main opposition CPN-UML has put it at odds with the ruling Nepali Congress. “The change in political scenario has also affected the endorsement process of our recommendations on infrastructure development and logistics management for the seven assemblies,” Minister Basnet told the Post. Each province will need an assembly building, a secretariat office, one library and Parliamentary Party offices for each political force elected to the assembly. All the provinces will need administrative buildings as well. 

The provincial elections will take place in two phases, along with the federal polls, on November 26 and December 7. Minister Basnet said the governor and administrative and security heads who will be appointed after the fixing the headquarters will manage the logistics in each province. The Basnet-led committee comprising experts from different fields, is unanimous on the headquarters for three provinces, but for four provinces, two or more places are being discussed as the provincial headquarters. 

The committee has recommended Biratnagar, Itahari or Dhankuta as the probable headquarters of Province 1, Janakpur of Province 2; Banepa, Dhulikhel, Hetauda or Kath-mandu of Province 3; and Pokhara of Province 4. Dang and Butwal are being discussed as the probable headquarters of Province 5; Surkhet of Province 6 and Dipayal and Dhangadi of Province 7. There will be 550 members in all seven provinces after the elections, with Province 3 having the highest number of members (110). Province 7 will have the lowest number of members of 53. 

Published: 17-10-2017 07:10

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