Chief ministers to raise issues at inter-state council

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Dec 9, 2018-

As they sit with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for the first ever Inter-state Council meeting on Sunday, the seven chief ministers will claim more power for the provinces in a true spirit of federalism.

While the one-day meeting, chaired by Oli, is scheduled to discuss the report on policies, laws and resource management in the provinces, prepared by secretaries from the PM’s Office after visiting the regions in the first week of August, chief ministers said more contentious issues will be raised at the meeting.

The chief ministers and their principal secretaries are geared up for the meeting expected to discuss contentious issues between the federal government and the provinces. The council, designed to settle disputes between the Centre and the provinces, comprises the prime minister, the chief ministers and some federal ministers.

Chief ministers said the federal government clearly knows how the provinces are faring as the PMO secretaries have already reported the situation at the provincial headquarters.

According to them, issues ranging from decentralisation of the legislative, financial and administrative powers to formation of the permanent secretariat of the Inter-state Coordination Council to serve as the bridge between the federal and provincial governments are on the agenda.

Given the strained relation of the provinces with Kathmandu, the chief ministers said the meeting would find ways to smoothen the provincial administrations.

“We have no option but to resolve the contentious issues,” said Gandaki Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung, whose initiative to hold the chief ministers’ conclave on September 7 led to abrupt postponement of September 9 council meeting. “All we want is for the federal government to listen to our concerns and resolve them.”

Some CMs also said the ministers and civil servants were reluctant to devolve power to the provinces and such attitude must change.

After Kathmandu delayed the drafting of necessary federal laws, provinces have taken initiatives to do that. Province 2 has already endorsed its Police Act while other provinces are following on its footsteps. “We’ll discuss and try to resolve the issues at the meeting,” said Province 2 CM Lalbabu Raut.

Published: 09-12-2018 07:15

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