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Federal govt should be liberal in devolving rights: NA Chair Timilsina

National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina said that the federal level government should be liberal on devolution of power to the sub-national governments.

In an interaction organized by the National Concerns and Coordination Committee under the National Assembly on Wednesday, Chairperson Timilsina viewed that the tendency to concentrate rights to the federal level is contrary to the spirit of federalism, which must end.

“The federal government should be liberal while handing down budget and rights to the local level. The tendency of retaining rights should be ended. There should be certain criteria for connecting one province with another. Plans could be made in another way on the basis of population,” the NA Chairperson viewed.

Stating that we could not realize development works with the current system of budget formulation and allocation, he pressed for allocation of budget in accordance to the plan and programmes rather than in the names of parliamentarians, provincial members and people’s representatives. The role of people’s representatives of all three levels is important for intergovernmental relations as per the spirit of federalism, he insisted.

“The NA had directed for effective implementation of constitution,” said Timilsina, calling for attention towards removing duplication of budget, plan and programmes and implementation of those programmes among the three-tier government.

On the occasion, Bagmati Province’s Speaker Bhuwan Kumar Pathak spoke of the need to embrace federalism fully for devolution. He complained that the federalism was not actively enforced in the country as envisaged by the constitution.

Stating that NA had representation from people’s representatives from all three tiers, he argued NA could be a platform to resolve all these problems.

Likewise, National Concerns and Coordination Committee’s President Dil Kumari Rawal Thapa underscored coordination among the three-tier government for formulation of law and budget. According to her, the major functions of the NA was to provide expert service, to make policy, conduct parliamentary oversight, making the Executive accountable to the people, regulating and directing the Executive, conduct parliamentary hearing and strengthening federalism, among others.

“It is the responsibility of the National Assembly to give instruction to the government regarding removal of duplication of rights among the three-tier governments,” she said.

Advocate Mohan Lal Acharya opined that there were inadequate laws regarding concurrent rights of three layers of government.

Present in the interaction were province members, municipality mayors and rural municipalities’ chairpersons among others who voiced their opinions about various aspects of intergovernmental coordination.


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