10-16 July 2015 #766

Which Chief Sec?

Nagarik, 7 July

Three candidates are in the running to replace Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel when he retires on 8 August after completing three years in the post. The three probable civil servants are: Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation secretary Shreedhar Gautam, Ministry of Federal Issues and Local Development secretary Somlal Subedi and Ministry of Industry secretary Jay Mukunda Khanal.

All three candidates were promoted to their posts on 13 April 2011. According to tradition, the present chief secretary stays on holiday a few days before his retirement date and the new chief secretary is announced by the cabinet. The Civil Service Regulation states that the government promotes a secretary to the post of Chief Secretary on the basis of seniority and competence.

Education Ministry secretary Bishwa Prakash Pandit is said to be in the running too, but not through the usual process. If he becomes Chief Secretary, Shreedhar Gautam will have to retire on 31 July 2016 because of the age limit of 58. This is why Bishwa Pandit is supporting Gautam who has a clean reputation, but is said to be indecisive.

Som Lal Subedi has worked for a long time in the Ministry of Local Development and has a PhD in Financial Decentralisation and has served in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and most recently in National Planning Commission. He is known to be close to the NC. Jaya Mukunda Khanal served as CDO in various districts and is a quiet person, close to the UML. Who becomes Chief Secretary will hinge on the composition of the national government next month.

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