Fewer ministries welcomedThe government’s decision to downsize the number of ministries from 29 to 17 will enhance efficiency and lessen the burden on state coffers even if the move does not suffice to sustain funding in the federal structure, officials have said.
The government’s decision to downsize the number of ministries from 29 to 17 will enhance efficiency and lessen the burden on state coffers even if the move does not suffice to sustain funding in the federal structure, officials have said.
A Cabinet meeting on Friday decided to slash the number of ministries as provisioned in the constitution and as recommended made by several studies.
The decision is welcome, said Kashi Raj Dahal, who headed the High-Level Administrative Restructuring Committee that advised the government to limit Cabinet members to 15.
Officials said the decision will enhance the efficacy of the government, will improve governance and cut state expenditures, among others. But experts point to a more pressing problem—of huge costs in the provinces and the local level. They suggest that the government look for ways to curb regular expenditures in the federal units.
With Friday’s decision, some ministries will be merged, leading to fewer numbers of ministers and officials. Further, Dahal said the Ministry of General Administration, and the Local and Federal Affairs ministries can be replaced by two separate units in the PM’s Office.
Managing resources in provinces and the local level is challenging, said a secretary at the PMO. Preparations are being made to meet the challenges of growing budgetary
burden at the local and provincial levels, said the secretary. “Yes, the present structure at the local and provincial level should be amended,” said Dahal. “Managing federalism is a costly affair in itself.”
The decision to merge ministries will be implemented immediately, according to PMO officials. Several cost cutting measures will be taken once the Cabinet takes it complete shape, said officials at the PMO.