MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
Nepal has great geographic diversity with high mountains, hills and lowland Tarai. There has to be coordination between the provinces and we've got to retain the age-long relationship between these territories.
Kathmandu alone has 42 per cent share of the total national revenue collection. If we add the revenue of Parsa, Morang, Rupandehi and Banke to it, that makes 85 per cent of the national revenue.
There are places which have insignificant revenue collection and the regions without resources can make little progress. It would be counter-productive to create provinces based only on language and ethnicity: it will only increase the gap between the rich and poor, resulting in conflict.
Administrative management should be three-tiered: central, provincial and local. The mandatory central administration looks after overall administration but it should not impose or interfere in local units. The most important thing is that the administrative structure is efficient and approachable, responsible and transparent. It should also embody regional and ethnic inclusiveness and professionalism.
The structure should be pro-public and guarantee good governance. The central administration can control national planning, implementation and evaluation, national security, states of emergency, foreign affairs, national resources and their equal distribution and economic and financial policies.
The judiciary, universities, public service commission, election commission, security authorities and national army should be run by the centre with the local units carrying policies and programs. The appointment of diplomats, central bank, highway, development infrastructure, treaties and understanding with foreign countries will be federal issues.
Police administration, industrial security forces, issuance of passports and citizenship certificates, maintaining and updating records of people's property, management of transport, real estate, implementation of development projects, labour, road and forest management will be taken care of at a provincial level with a separate bureaucratic mechanism. The provincial government will develop an independent system regarding recruitment and set terms and conditions for their service.
Local resources will eventually be managed at a local level though permission will need to be sought from the centre if there is an issue relating to more than one province. The centre should play a role of facilitator until the provincial and local administrations are self-reliant.
We also need to have a uniform policy about the private sector and non-governmental organisations. The aim of a federal system is to strengthen provincial and local government. The more rights the provincial and local people are given, the more ownership they feel over government policies and programs.
We need to find the experts and human resources that the provinces require. We must calculate the number of people required at a local level and the number of people that that province can recruit. Provincial governments may hire experts on contracts instead of recruiting an unnecessary number of people. It provides the government with efficient and skilled manpower to suit their requirements and saves it from unnecessary financial burdens.
Shyam Prasad Mainali is secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.