New law proposes incentives for civil servants

  • Federal government to issue ordinance in consultation with the Public Service Commission
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
Minister Lal Babu Pandit says the government is planning to complete the adjustment process within the next two months

Nov 13, 2018-In a bid to encourage civil servants to join provincial and local administrations, the federal government has proposed promotion and extra pay grades for personnel meeting the specified criteria.

The Civil Service Adjustment Ordinance, which is currently at the Cabinet, proposes the incentives since a majority of public officials were not interested in

working for the lower-level governments.

The legislation leaves it upon a government employee whether to join the provincial and local government services. Those unwilling to leave the federal civil service would be pooled to be deployed later as the federal staff where necessary. Civil servants who are ineligible for promotion but are willing to opt for adjustment will get two pay grades extra. In that case, they can choose suitable places to work while couples would be posted together.

The ordinance will replace the existing law on adjustment of civil servants that gave them no option but to take up the assigned responsibility. The federal government struggles to manage human resource at the provincial and local levels despite introducing the staff adjustment law in October last year.

Lack of incentives was one of the reasons behind government officials’ reluctance to work at the provincial or local level. The official trade union of civil servants has demanded promotion as the major basis for staff adjustment.

As most civil servants choose urban areas as their working station, authorities said the government had no option but to come up with measures that could attract public staff to the provincial and local services.

Early endorsement of the ordinance is essential to manage human resource in the provinces and at the local level as they cannot recruit new staff without the federal government passing the Federal Public Service Commission Act first.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the government plans to endorse the ordinance in consultation with the Public Service Commission (PSC). Lal Babu Pandit, minister for federal affairs and general administration, said a Cabinet meeting on Sunday decided to seek the commission’s opinion on the matter. “The government will endorse the ordinance as soon as the PSC returns it,” said Pandit.

Pandit said the government will readjust the human resource once the ordinance is approved by the President. “We will try to complete the adjustment process within the next two months,” said Pandit.

After the ordinance takes effect, the federal government will depute all those willing to the provinces and local level. If there is a shortfall of personnel even after the adjustment process, provinces can request the federal government to fill the remaining vacancies.

Former bureaucrats, however, have expressed reservations over the provision. The move will not only create unnecessary financial burden on the state but also offset the balance within the civil service, said former chief secretary Bimal Koirala. “Those willing to go for adjustment will be promoted while others will remain in the same post.”

Kashiraj Dahal, an expert on public administration, said there were unnecessary positions in civil service.

“We need to review them and create new positions. Civil servants must follow the government’s decision,” Dahal said.

Published: 13-11-2018 08:05

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