Parliamentary committee for stalling disputed staff recruitment processState affairs and good governance committee plans to meet Minister Pandit on Monday
Following widespread criticisms from all sections of the society, the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee is all set to direct the government to stall the hiring process of the Public Service Commission.
“We have already prepared the decision of the state affairs and good governance committee and will release after talking with Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lalbabu Pandit on Monday,” said Amresh Kumar Singh, a Nepali Congress lawmaker and member of the parliamentary committee.
Last month, the Public Service Commission had published a notice to recruit as many as 9,161 staffers in 515 local governments. The issue had caused a furore in different sections of the society, including political parties and social groups, who claimed that the move was against the spirit of federalism and sought to control the local governments.
After the issue ran into controversy, the parliamentary committee had held a discussion with the Public Service Commission officials on June 3. The commission officials had told the committee members that it had only followed the direction of the ministry.
The committee has been trying to arrange a meeting with Minister Pandit to enquire about the matter, but the latter has not allotted time citing busy schedule.
“We have been seeking time from Minister Pandit for last five days but to no avail,” Shashi Shrestha, chairperson of the parliamentary committee, told the Post. She added that Pandit did not attend Friday’s committee’s meeting even after scheduling it.
After the minister failed to appear in the meeting scheduled for 8 am, the committee, at the minister’s request, had scheduled another meeting for 5 pm which too he failed to attend, according to the committee.
The Post made multiple attempts to contact Minister Pandit for a comment, but he could not be reached. The recruitment plan has also come under criticism from the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers. Most lawmakers of the ruling party on the parliamentary committee have claimed that the recruitment process is unconstitutional.
“The committee has decided to direct the government to stall the recruitment process and to take decisions as per the spirit of the constitution,” Singh said.
The decision was not announced after Bijay Subba, one of the NCP lawmakers attending Friday’s meeting, requested the committee to wait for the minister’s briefing. Rajendra Shrestha, co-chairman of coalition partner Samajbadi Party Nepal, told the Friday meeting that the federal government could deploy staff until the provincial public service commissions were in place.
Most of the provincial assemblies have already endorsed the provincial public service commission Acts and they are preparing to establish the commissions.
On Tuesday, various groups of indigenous nationalities, Madhesis, Dalits, Muslims, differently-abled people, women and backward communities had handed over a memorandum of demand, urging Shrestha, the committee chairperson, to stall the recruitment process.
“They had demanded that the recruitment process be stalled because it not only flouted the constitutional provision of inclusiveness but also the rights of the provincial governments,” said Shrestha.
Lawmakers of the ruling NCP have claimed that they had to speak in the line of the party—federalism— but the government has been attempting to move against it.
“What we know is that the party is for federalism and we must speak in favour of it,” said NCP lawmaker Rekha Sharma, also a former general administration minister.
“I talked with the authorities of a number of local governments and they were not informed about most of the provisions.” NCP lawmaker Janardan Sharma termed the plan a “constitutional anarchy”.