Inter-State Council meeting postponed

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2018-

Irked by the activities of provincial chief ministers, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has postponed the much-awaited first Inter-State Council meeting scheduled for 11am on Sunday. With this unprecedented move, the prime minister has sent a clear message to the chief ministers that he was not happy with their recent activities including their joint meeting at Pokhara.

Sources claimed that PM Oli was not happy with the two-day conclave organised in Pokhara last week. The gathering of six out of seven chief ministers had set nine common agendas for discussion at the Inter-State Council meeting.

“Preparations for the Inter-State Council meeting were completed. We don’t know why it was cancelled suddenly,” said officials at the Prime Minister’s Office engaged in the preparations. “We don’t know when the meeting will take place.”

The PMO had invited all the provincial chief ministers and chief secretaries to the meeting which is expected to resolve a gamut of issues that provincial governments have been grappling with.

The postponement has dampened the expectations of the provincial governments that the meeting would help resolve their problems.

“The meeting has not been stalled. The PMO will organise the meeting with more preparations later,” said Kundan Aryal, press advisor to the PM.

Chief ministers were informed about the meeting’s postponement with direction from the PM. Many chief ministers, including that of Province 1, 2, 3 and 7 were already in the Capital. “I came here early as I also had to attend other programmes,” said Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut, adding that he was unaware of the reason behind the meeting’s sudden postponement.

However, PM Oli is said to have told Province 1 Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai that he would call the meeting only after completing the party’s major meetings.

Co-chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has returned home from his three-day visit to India and the party is preparing for a secretariat meeting set to begin on Monday. The NCP has called its standing committee meeting on September 11 and 12 to assess the government’s performance as well as to finalise unification of the party’s lower committees.

The provincial governments have been at odds with Kathmandu for months, accusing the federal government of being reluctant in decentralising the Centre’s authority as per the spirit of federalism. They have been complaining that even six months after their formation, most provincial governments are still poorly staffed as the federal government fails to depute enough officials to the provinces.

The one-day meeting to be chaired by the PM was also expected to discuss the report prepared by the PMO secretaries who had visited the provincial headquarters last month to monitor organisational set-up, policies, laws and resource management.

Published: 10-09-2018 07:22

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