Race for chief secy post beginsWith Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi all set to join the Asian Development Bank, the race for a new leader of bureaucracy has begun.
With Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi all set to join the Asian Development Bank, the race for a new leader of bureaucracy has begun.
Sparking off a debate whether it suits the chief secretary to join a joint-secretary-level post in the ADB, Subedi has decided to leave for Manila in mid-July to take up his new assignment.
Half a dozen secretaries are lobbying for the plum post. The power corridors in Singha Durbar reverberate with speculations over who will be the next chief secretary. But it all depends on whom the prime minister favours, said two secretaries not in the race.
The post requires close work with the PM. A decision will follow the resignation of Subedi.
If Subedi resigns before July 16, senior most among the 67 government secretaries—Dhan Bahadur Tamang, chief of the National Vigilance Centre, and Rajendra Kishor Chettri, secretary at the Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, would be the top contenders. If one of them is given the charge of acting chief secretary, he will be at the helm for three months. In that case, Tamang or Chettri will remain in office for another three months while a batch of senior secretaries, including Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi and Education Secretary Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, retires.
If the PM and the Cabinet do not appoint Tamang or Chettri as the chief secretary, Subedi and Shrestha will be the major contenders.
One section of the bureaucratic leadership is lobbying for assigning acting roles for Tamang or Chettri so that a new batch will take over in three months. Among them are Home Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi, Commerce Secretary Naiyendra Prasad Upadhyay and Tourism Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari.
Given the political clout and having served in crucial ministries like finance, Home Secretary Regmi is a strong contender for the top job. High-level political sources told the Post that it is also possible that the PM may appoint Regmi immediately after Subedi leaves for Manila.
Chief Secretary Subedi, confirming his departure by mid-July, said he has already informed the PM about his next move. Subedi is set to take up his assignment at the ADB in about three weeks.
“My effort will be to ensure that the new chief secretary is not an acting one. But I have not spoken with the PM about this in detail,” said Subedi.
A source close to Deuba said the PM has yet to decide on Subedi’s replacement.