State 2 defies Centre, set to enact new lawsDefying objection from the central government, the Province 2 government is gearing up to introduce additional provincial laws.
Defying objection from the central government, the Province 2 government is gearing up to introduce additional provincial laws. The provincial government is making preparations to unveil three new provincial laws related to administration, civil service and public service commission through a cabinet meeting set to commence on Thursday.
The conflict between the federal and provincial governments has escalated after the Province 2 Provincial Assembly endorsed the Provincial Police Act on October 13 by suspending a provincial assembly regulation. The provincial government’s decision has not gone down well with the federal government, with leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) raising strong reservations over it.
On Tuesday, NCP Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had asked the Province 2 government not to ‘overtake’ the federal government, warning
that it could derail the country from its journey towards federalism.
Referring to the Province 2 government’s move to bring Provincial Police Act prior to the related federal law, Dahal had warned the provincial
executive not to ignore the federal government that holds a two-thirds majority.
But a day after Dahal’s warning, Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Gyanendra Kumar Yadav said that Province 2 cabinet meeting on
Thursday would endorse three laws related to administration, civil service and public service commission. “Once the cabinet endorses the three
laws, we will register them at the provincial assembly,” said Yadav. Having endorsed 15 provincial laws in the last eight months, the Province 2
government is working on its plan to introduce seven more laws. The ruling alliance of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N) and Rastriya
Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) is planning to endorse the law on contract hiring, which sources at the provincial government say, is being brought
to address the dearth of technical staff in the province.
The Province 2 government has accused the federal government of non-cooperation in deputising necessary human resources. The provincial
government has only 250 staff at present. The provincial government had commissioned former Chief Secretary Bidhya Dhar Mallik to assess human resources for the province. While Mallik has recommended that the province would require 5,000 staff for the smooth functioning of the administration and service delivery, a separate study by the federal government has put the number at 2,400.
Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut has claimed that the law on contract hiring is being brought since the provincial government is facing difficulty in
running the day-to-day administration, mainly due to non-cooperation of the federal government. Apprising Dahal of the issue at an NCP programme in Janakpur on Tuesday, Raut said, “Now, we will start hiring staff.”
Madhes analyst Chandra Kishore Jha said the strategy of the Province 2 government seems to be expanding its space on the basis of the constitution. “The provincial government seems to be in a confrontational mood to get the rights mentioned in the constitution,” Jha said. Minister Yadav, however, maintained that the provincial government was introducing the laws based on the constitutional provisions. “We’re bringing laws as per constitutional provisions. This is not overtaking,” he said.