Provinces reject centre’s move to recruit new staff

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Nov 11, 2018-

The provinces oppose the federal government’s decision to recruit new civil staff for provinces and local levels through the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), saying it is  ‘unconstitutional’ and reflects ‘centralised mentality’.

Provincial governments insist the centre should allow them to recruit new staff through the Province Public Service Commission (PSC).

On November 4, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration informed provincial and local governments to submit their staff requirements to fulfil vacant posts in their offices through the FPSC.

The federal government seeks to recruit staff for provinces and local units for the first time since the formation of three-tier system of governance.

The ministry says its proposal to sub-national governments conforms to Employees’ Adjustment Act (EAA) 2017 that permits the federal government to recruit staff for the provinces and local governments until Provincial PSC is formed.

Provinces argue the EAA violates the constitution since the centre can adjust only existing government staff, not new staff.

Article 302 of the constitution says the centre can adjust those employees who served in the government when the constitution was promulgated.

The Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning Indra Bahadur Angbo said, “The constitution allows the centre to adjust only existing staff. We are capable of recruiting new staff after forming the Provincial PSC.”

The constitution says the federal government should prepare the standards to form provincial PSC. However, the federal government wants to recruit new staffs instead of setting the standards to set up provincial PSC, he said.

“This proves the centre is acting against the norms of federalism and retaining power by taking advantage of the transitional situation of the administration,” Minister Angbo said.

Province 2 Chief Attorney General Dipendra Jha told the Post, “Although we have just 1,000 government staff that is well short of the required 5,067, we reject the central government’s decision since it is unconstitutional.”

Province 2 government has tabled a ‘Contract Act’ at the Provincial Assembly to recruit temporary staff.

“We will hire temporary staff as per the proposed Act if the centre fails to send adequate staff here,” Jha said.

A federal official said the centre told sub-national governments to submit their requirements to fill vacant posts that had urgency.

 

Federal Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Suresh Adhikari said, “We will not recruit new staff for all posts. Further, we shall not recruit staff if they do not send us their requirements.”

The Federal Affairs Ministry demanded staff requirements from  sub-national governments based on the Cabinet decision announced on October 14.

After the cabinet decision, the Federal PSC has rescheduled its recruitment drive.

PSC Chairman Umesh Mainali said, “We have postponed the date of issuing vacancy to December.”

Published: 11-11-2018 06:30

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