May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Commitment to federalism

The Nepal Weekly
May 14, 2024

Commitment to federalism is essential for making it successful in practice. If the same is absent, federalism will just be theme for luxury-discussion. Nepal has been practicing federalism for the past 7 years particularly after the implementation of the current constitution. Two general elections were held and several other governance-practices have been pursued as per the federal spirit and letters mentioned in the highest law of the land. Yet those who are in decision making levels have not been able to adopt spirit of federalism in action. As a result of it, several functions that should be performed at the provincial and municipal levels have not been done that way. The unstable political situation at the centre makes the provincial dispensation also vulnerable. Change of government at the federal level is usually taken as a direction to change of government at the provincial level as well. Political parties also appear to back the trend. They pay little attention to the spirit of federalism in such matters. The recent change of government in Koshi province is one example. Developing will to implement federalism in the real sense at the high political level appears highly essential. That will ensure guarantee for making essential laws for enabling provinces and municipalities to do the acts under their responsibilities. The combined responsibilities among the federal, provincial and municipal level-government could also be taken if appropriate legal regime could be developed in a mature pragmatic way. As the centre, provinces and municipalities enter the budget phase in a month or so, this point should be taken seriously. Let the next financial year’s budget be formulated with federalism in focus! Let provisions for utilizing financial resources be so formulated as can address the central, provincial and municipal needs appropriately and in an orderly mode!