Cabinet passes ordinance to adjust civil servants

  • Nepali Congress says government move violates the letter and spirit of the constitution
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Dec 5, 2018-

Avoiding regular parliamentary process and without consulting with the employees, the government on Monday approved the Civil Servants Adjustment Ordinance in a last-ditch effort to address the human resource crunch in provincial and local administrations. The KP Sharma Oli-led Cabinet came up with the ordinance even as the opposition Nepali Congress has demanded commencement of the winter session of Parliament at the earliest. While Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has warned the government not to bring any ordinance by avoiding the due parliamentary process of legislation, the Oli government has said defended the move saying that passing a bill would take time.

A minister confirmed that Monday’s Cabinet meeting approved the ordinance. Lalbabu Pandit, the minister for federal affairs and general administration, said the ordinance would come into force once the President authenticates it. Pandit has said that the staff adjustment process would be over within December.

Opposition leaders have criticised the move, saying that the Oli administration was reluctant to convene Parliament soon fearing backlash on multiple issues, ranging from the Nirmala Pant rape and murder case to the recently concluded Asia Pacific Summit that created a huge controversy.

NC lawmaker and former minister Minendra Rijal said the ordinance was not necessary and it violated the spirit of federalism as staff deployment concerned all the three tiers of government. He stressed that there should have been a wide

range of political consultation and discourse besides consideration for experts’ suggestions.

Civil servants are not happy with the government’s move either. They reason that issuing the ordinance right before the winter session of Parliament is undemocratic. The Civil Servant Adjustment Act was introduced last year after deliberation in Parliament. Parliament has to endorse the ordinance, which will replace the Act, within six months.

Government sources said early endorsement of the ordinance was essential to deploy civil servants to the provinces and the local level as they cannot recruit new staff without Kathmandu passing the Federal Public Service Commission Act first. The new law maintains the domination of the federal government in public staff mobilisation in the provinces and at the local level. The ordinance authorises the federal government to deploy provincial principal secretaries and secretaries besides the chief administrative officers at the local level.

The ordinance, which has been forwarded to the President’s Office, has a provision for sacking civil servants if they fail to reach the office they have been assigned to within 35 days.

Published: 05-12-2018 07:06

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