Civil servants in Myagdi deprived of ‘mountain district’ benefitsLocal level employees in mountain districts are entitled to an additional allowance up to 100 percent of their monthly salary.
When the government declared Myagdi a ‘mountain district’ in March, hopes were high that the problem of lack of employees at the local level would be resolved soon.
As per the government announcement, an additional allowance up to 100 percent of the monthly salary would be provided to the local level employees who work in the mountain districts.
The move was aimed at attracting civil servants to work in the mountain district of Mugu, where most of the local level offices are facing staff shortage.
The announcement was also published in Nepal Gazette, the government’s official journal, underscoring the government’s seriousness towards hiring and retaining civil servants in the mountain districts.
However, six months since the announcement, the local level employees are yet to receive the “announced” additional allowance.
The move so far has failed to attract civil servants mainly teachers and security personnel to Myagdi.
There is a shortage of local level employees and teachers in the remote villages of the district, affecting day-to-day administrative and development works. Wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 of Dhaulagiri; wards 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Annapurna Rural Municipality; wards 7 and 8 of Raghuganga Rural Municipality and Rum and Debisthan settlements of Malika Rural Municipality are quite remote and difficult to access. These areas have been greatly affected due to the chronic shortage of employees.
“We had been demanding for Myagdi to be declared as a mountain district and the government finally addressed our demand. But the employees have not received any benefits,” said Devendra Bahdur KC, chairman of the District Coordination Committee. “We have informed the provincial and federal governments about the problem. We are the only mountain district which has not received the promised additional allowance,” he added.
The local level employees in other 20 mountain districts have been receiving the additional allowance, according to KC.
The government has fixed the rate of the allowance by the proximity of the place from provincial capital and towns. The farther the mountain district from urban locations, the higher the allowance for the employees.
The local residents hope that the inclusion of Myagdi as a mountain district will help retain local level employees in the remote villages.
“Myagdi, which has more than a dozen mountain peaks, has been finally recognised as the mountain district. But the facilities that a mountain district is supposed to receive have not been given. It’s difficult to deploy employees to the remote Himalayan settlements if their perks and salaries are exactly the same of those working in the urban areas,” said federal lawmaker Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa.