Prime Minister and the National Coordination Council Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has expressed his commitment, in his capacity as the main agent of change, to work with determination towards implementation of federalism.
Addressing the second full meeting of the Council at his office in Singha Durbar today, PM Dahal said, “The Chief Ministers have reposed their faith on me for the implementation of federalism, I will work towards implementing the federalism with this power.”
He recalled that although the Act related to the Council was enacted in 2076 BS, it was he who called the Council’s first meeting last July.
Stating the meeting of the Council has been called for maintaining coordination in the works and functioning of the federal, provincial and local governments, the Prime Minister and Council Chair said, “Four years passed without convening a single meeting. I have taken the initiatives for federalism implementation by calling two meetings in six months.”
He maintained that he was constantly in consultation with the Chief Ministers for implementing federalism, stressing on the need of one and all to think of and take interest in constitution implementation.
“I have felt that this meeting has given an impetus (to implement federalism). All the Chief Ministers have pinned hope and faith on me. This is my power in implementation of federalism. I too have been working keeping this very topic at the centre since I took leadership of the government,” he reiterated.
According to the PM, works have been initiated regarding the Civil Service Act and the police adjustment by assigning the responsibility itself to the Deputy Prime Ministers. “Enactment of federal acts itself is our major responsibility. It would be a fitting reply to the anti-federalism camp once the provinces start providing services to the people,” he added.
Emphasizing that the policies and programmes, and the budget that the three tiers of government bring should be the central expression of their collective wisdom, Prime Minister Dahal called for putting to an end the situation wherein plans are not completed, new plans are brought, but are not completed within the stipulated time.
“The state’s liability has increased due to lopsided development and delays. This situation will come to an end this time. The anomalies in budget formulation would be put to an end,” PM Dahal said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka said the initiation on federalism implementation taken by the Prime Minister has removed the uncertainty related to the same.
“The Prime Minister is serious in implementing federalism. I myself have been making efforts to finalize the Civil Service Act as directed by the Prime Minister. We will pass this in the current parliament session itself,” he said and urged all to work with collective spirit, as implementation of federalism is a common responsibility.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha stated that the Prime Minister has been working with a sense of concern and urgency on federalism implementation.
“The PM has been consistently encouraging all the ministers to speed up works for implementation of federalism. The process of police adjustment has moved ahead. We will finalize the adjustment process within some days,” DPM Shrestha added.
Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dhanraj Gurung said they have been motivated by the Prime Minister’s activeness in implementing the federalism. Stating that the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs is at work for formulating the federal laws, he gave assurances that most of the Federal Acts will be passed in the current session of parliament.
Prior to this, the first meeting of the Council held discussions on the action plan regarding federalism implementation remaining to be carried out by the federal government and on the works carried out so far as well as on the problems seen in the implementation.
The meeting chaired by PM Dahal reviewed the status of the implementation of the Federal Implementation Facilitation Work Plan approved by the Inter-Province Council and also discussed on finding a way out to the problems by identifying the reasons as to why the remaining works could not be carried out.
The National Coordination Council had met on 1 July 2023 before this. It was presided over by Prime Minister Dahal himself and had held discussions on making the federalism implementation more effective. The meeting discussed on finalizing the work expansion by revising it to make it simpler, clear and prevent the duplication of work responsibilities as well as on taking it into implementation.
Deliberations have also been held in the meeting regarding the causes for the inability to issuing the Federal Civil Service Act considered to be the guideline for the province and local levels, and on the Acts, Regulations and standards required for the implementation of the list of concurrent rights as per the Schedule 7 and 9 of the constitution.
The meeting has taken seriously the topic of as to how the human resources working in the province and local levels could be better managed in the context of lack of it. It is found that the ambiguities seen in the roles of the three tiers of the government needed to be sorted out.
The Council comprises the Finance Minister, the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, the Home Affairs Minister, and the Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration of the federal government, the Chief Ministers of the provincial governments, the leader of the main opposition party in the House of Representatives and a federal parliamentarian assigned by the leader of the opposition and seven members, including at least three women, of local levels assigned by the Prime Minister.