Oli-led Cabinet balloonsPrime Minister KP Oli on Thursday expanded his Cabinet, fourth time since he was elected the prime minister, making it the third largest in the history.
Prime Minister KP Oli on Thursday expanded his Cabinet, fourth time since he was elected the prime minister, making it the third largest in the history.
Prime Minister Oli on Thursday inducted Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Deepak Bohara as Minister for Labour and Employment, Samajbadi Party leader Prem Bahadur Singh as Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Janamukti Party’s Shiva Lal Thapa as Minister for Science and Technology and Pariwar Dal’s Chairman Eknath Dhakal as Minister without Portfolio.
They were administered oath of office and secrecy on Thursday itself.
Similarly, Prime Minister Oli inducted six more UML leaders as state ministers on Thursday evening.
With the latest expansion, Prime Minister Oli’s Cabinet strength has reached 40, with six deputy prime minister, 21 ministers, nine state ministers and two assistant ministers.
According to Prime Minister Oli’s Press Adviser Pramod Dahal, UML leaders Damodar Bhandari, Manju Kumari Chaudhary, Dinesh Chandra Yadav, Nardevi Pun Magar, Bal Bahadur Mahat and Dip Narayan Sah were inducted in the Cabinet as state ministers.
Earlier on Thursday, a Cabinet meeting decided to add two new ministries in an attempt to balance the power-sharing arrangement.
The number of ministries now has reached 28.
Oli, who was elected prime minister on October 11 with the support of 15 political parties in Parliament, however, has drawn flak for forming such a jumbo Cabinet.
“This is utter misuse of state coffers,” said administration expert Shreekant Regmi. “There is no valid logic for splitting the ministries.”
Legal eagles have also criticised the government for breaching the constitutional provision and expanding the Cabinet and ministries at random.
The new constitution has set 25 as the maximum number of ministers.
However, this is not the first time the government has neglected past recommendations of limiting the number of ministries.
The Administrative Reform Commission 1992 and Public Expenditure Review Commission 2000 had suggested that number of ministries should be
limited to 18.
In April, Administrative Reform Recommendation Committee headed by Administrative Court Chairman Kashi Raj Dahal had recommended that the government limit the numbers of central ministries to 12 in the federal set up. “Ministries have been split unscientifically and the move is not practical,” Regmi, who is also former home secretary, said.
The addition of two new ministries, according to finance ministry officials, will add financial burden of at least Rs 3 billion on the state coffers.