Print Edition - 2017-12-10 | News
Selection of provincial capitals only after vote count: PMO
Joint Secretary Hari Prasad Panthi claims necessary officials and staff could be deployed within 24 hours of a Cabinet decision
Dec 10, 2017-Administrative preparations for fixing temporary headquarters of seven provinces and their respective chiefs (governors) have been completed, according to government officials. The announcement, however, will be made after the completion of vote counting.
High-level officials at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said they are awaiting a “political decision” on the issues, adding that the next Cabinet meeting could take a final decision in this regard. Government ministers have said that they will wait some more days before making such a decision as the vote count of federal parliament and provincial assembly is underway.“These are sensitive issues and we have to wait till the final results of elections,” Minister for Supplies Sushil Kumar Shrestha said, adding that preparations have been made at the political level on the same issues.
The government has put on hold announcement of provincial capitals, fearing protests. According to Minister Shrestha, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will consult with coalition partners once leaders return Kathmandu after the vote counting is completed.
PMO officials said they have made preparations for the announcement of temporary headquarters of the provinces. “We have already prepared complete proposals on temporary provincial headquarters and appointment of provincial chiefs,” said a secretary.
Chief Secretary Lok Darsan Regmi has been holding meeting with top officials on a regular basis for the necessary preparations. The incumbent government will have to take a decision on the issues as it would take at least a month for the formation of a new government. “We can deploy necessary officials and staff within 24 hours of a Cabinet decision,” said Joint Secretary Hari Prasad Panthi, who leads Management and Human Resource Divisions at the PMO.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will appoint a governor in each province on the recommendation of the government. The governor calls the first sitting of the provincial assembly and invites the political parties to form a provincial cabinet. Arrangements for buildings to house provincial governments and parliaments and offices have to be made within a month of the completion of elections.
However, determining provincial capitals remains a big challenge, with a mutiple cities staking their claims.
A ministerial committee headed by Minister for General Administration Tek Bahadur Basnet has recommended a few cities for provincial capital after assessing infrastructure available in each province. There are disputes over whether Kavre, Kathmandu or Hetauda should be designated the capital of Province 3, while public opinion is divided over Dang or Butwal as the capital of Province 5. The committee has recommend Biratnagar, Itahari or Dhankuta as the probable capital of Province 1, Janakpur for Province 2; Pokhara for Province 4; Surkhet for Province 6 and Dipayal or Dhangadi of Province 7.
Published: 10-12-2017 07:38