Inter-provincial council meeting starts

By RSS on Dec 09,2018 - 11:58

The meeting of inter-province council that includes prime minister (PM) and the seven chief ministers (CM) is being held for the first time nine months after formation of provincial governments.

The meeting being held at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) on Sunday will look to resolve political disputes between the federal and provincial governments, and find out the way for coordination for development and other issues.

The inter-province council has been envisioned by the constitution for resolving political disputes among the two levels of government. Many disputes remain unresolved in lack of its meeting for a long time.

The provincial governments have been criticizing the federal government for not paving the way for exercise of their constitutional rights for employee management, budget, development programs, and operation of police force and administration among others.

PM KP Sharma Oli is facing criticisms for not convening the meeting of inter-province council envisioned. The CMs have been calling for meeting of the council for a long time.
PM Oli had earlier called the meeting for September 10 but he cancelled the meeting in the eleventh hour. The CMs, apart from Mahendra Bahadur Shahi of Karnali, had met in Pokhara to discuss what they should tell the PM in the meeting and issued an eight-point declaration ahead of the scheduled meeting. PM Oli then called off the meeting in anger taking that as a public rebuke of him. He did not even meet the CMS for a long time after that.

“This is the constitutional body to resolve disputes among the provinces, and between the provincial and federal governments,” Gandaki CM Prithvi Subba Gurung told Setopati. “Its significance is more now as this is the starting phase of implementation of federalism. This meeting was necessary to resolve problems arising between the center and provinces.”

“We all have similar problems. It would be easier if we can tell the PM about those problems and resolve them through dialogue. It is the PM who calls the meeting,” CM of Province 2 Lal Babu Raut said.

Three teams headed by a secretary were formed by the federal Cabinet and the teams went to the provinces to take stock of the problems the provinces are facing.

The inter-government finance council meeting was held a few days back. The finance council, which has federal finance minister as the coordinator, also has 14 representatives including finance minister and either of the chief or deputy chief of any local body from each province. Seven of those 14 members must be women. It also includes three experts including a woman.

The finance council meeting discussed the financial issues among the local, provincial and federal governments to set up agenda for the inter-province council meeting.

The Sunday’s inter-province council meeting will discuss the issues to find the way forward.

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