KATHMANDU, Jan 24: The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) is making final preparations to submit a proposal to the cabinet for the formation of the 719 local units under the federal system as proposed by the commission formed to delineate new local units.
Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Pandey said that the ministry has finalized its proposal for the formation of the new local units proposed by the commission and will present it to the cabinet for endorsement whenever the prime minister asks the ministry to do so.
He said the proposal will be presented in the cabinet soon as the government is preparing to announce dates within a week for elections by mid-May.
"The government will hold local polls, and for that the prime minister has started talks with various political parties to bring them on board," he told Republica.
Unless the government endorses the commission's report, which has proposed creating 462 village councils, 241municipalities, 12 sub-metropolitan cities and 4 metropolitan cities under the new federal system and duly implements it, it cannot hold local polls under the new federal system.
The commission submitted its report to the government on January 6. Almost three weeks have passed and it is yet to execute the report.
“The commission submitted its report in 16 volumes, with details about the total number of wards, village councils, municipalities, sub-metropolitan cities and metropolitan cities in the 75 districts. So, it took some time for the ministry to give the report the shape of a proposal,” Minister Pandey said, adding that it will table the proposal soon.
He said that he will be meeting with the prime minister over the matter and will table the proposal in the cabinet as per the prime minister's directions.
Once the cabinet endorses the proposal, the government will publish all the details in the Nepal Gazette. The new local units will then come into effect.
However, while the government is preparing to implement the commission's report, locals in various districts have been demanding revisions in the local units proposed by the commission. On Friday, the locals of Nuwakot took to protests demanding revisions in the local units proposed in the district. Over a dozen locals were injured in the protest.
Similarly, the Madhes-based parties have been saying that the commission's report is unacceptable as it was finalized without consultations with the agitating parties and without resolving disputes related to the delineation of federal provinces.