Government set to redefine ‘remote’ areas

  • Geographical remoteness will now be classified based on the local level
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Nov 17, 2018-

The government is set to categorise the geographical remoteness of areas in terms of local federal units, rather than the districts on which the current classification is based.

The change, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, proposes to ensure that government staff reach the remote areas after their deployment and to discourage the current tendency of them staying at the headquarters of the districts classified as “remote”.

The experience of serving in the local units classified as remote will be one of the criterion for promotion of civil servants, according to officials. As part of its plan, the Federal Affairs Ministry on November 12 formed a five-member taskforce headed by Joint-secretary Roop Narayan Bhattarai to set the standards for determining the remoteness of the local units and to categorise them.

The taskforce formed by a minister-level decision has been asked to submit the report within a month. “We are now working on classification of data for setting the standards. We have to collect additional data on each local unit for their scientific categorisation,” said a member of the taskforce.

The existing Civil Service Regulation puts the districts into four categories based on their remoteness.

“We are revising this classification to make it more scientific since even the districts around Kathmandu have some remote areas,” said Dinesth Thapaliya, secretary at the Federal Affairs Ministry.

The new classification is expected to help the provincial and local governments mobilise public officials to remote regions after their adjustment. Employees under the central government will mostly reach only the district headquarters.

The taskforce will categorise the local units based on their geographical features, administrative accessibility, transportation facility and resources. This categorisation will be made just for the administrative purpose—not for resources distribution, according to the officials.

“The National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission is responsible for defining the resources,” the taskforce member said. Officials serving in remote districts currently get additional allowance. Once the new classification comes into effect, civil servants serving in districts currently considered accessible may also get additional allowance for serving in the remote local units.

“Those who are getting additional allowances for working from the headquarters of the current category of most remote districts may not receive the extra allowance,” a taskforce member said.

As per the current classification, Taplejung, most parts of Sankhuwasbha, Solukhumbu; Lamabagar and Rolwaling areas of Dolakha; Sinhar area of Dhading, Manang, Larke area of Gorkha, and Mustang except the southern Tukucha area, Dhorpatan of Baglung, Rolpa, Rukum, Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla, Dolpa, Jajarkot, Bajhang, Bajura and Darchula fall under the ‘A’ category.

 

Published: 17-11-2018 07:13

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