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Dialogue on Concurrent Rights of Province and Local Government in Federal Structure of Nepal - USAID

Programme Significance

Although the interim constitution, 2007 of Nepal had declared Nepal as a Federal Country, the real implementation has begun with the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015. The constitution has introduced a three-tier governance system in Nepal; namely- Federal, Provincial,  and Local. The relations between these governments are based on principles of cooperation, co-existence and coordination, as stipulated in the constitution. Nepal is now reorganized in 7 States and 753 Local Governments- including 6 Metropolitan Cities, 11 Sub-Metropolitan Cities, 276 Municipalities and 460 Rural Municipalities (Gaonpalika). All the local governments have started functioning after their election in two phases.

The constitution has broadly defined the exclusive and concurrent rights of three tiers of governments. Annexes 5, 6 and 8 enlist exclusive powers of Federal, State and Local Level, whereas Annex 7 and 9 have scheduled the concurrent powers of Federation and State and the powers of all 3 tiers respectively. The Council of Ministers has agreed to an unbundling of these powers of the three tiers of government and the Local Government Operation Act 2017 has mentioned the functions and duties of local governments accordingly.

Despite these efforts, there are ample confusions among the local representatives about the powers and the process to use the exclusive and concurrent powers. Many of the functions of Local Levels are contingent upon State laws. The State level elections have recently concluded and the State governments are yet to be formed. Many Federal, State and Local level Laws and procedures are to be drafted to bring clarity on the roles of different government to use the concurrent powers.

Against this backdrop, the workshop had been a focus on indentifying the issues around the concurrent powers of federal, province and Local Level Governments and understand the areas where clarity it required to avoid conflicts between the State and Local Governments. This workshop, in other hand is expected to build the capacity of the elected leaders in understanding the exclusive and concurrent powers of province and local level and the issues around the concurrent powers. As an unintended output of the workshop, the programme has indentified some issues around the potential areas of conflicts between two or more municipalities/rural municipalities.

Objectives

The main objective of the consultative workshop is to identify the issues around the concurrent powers of Province and Local Governments and help MuAN and its members understand the areas where clarity is required in the future to avoid potential conflicts between Province and Local Levels. The workshop enables the local representatives understand the powers of Local Levels and how they can move forward with existing clarity and confusions.

The specific objectives of the workshop were:

  • To understand the exclusive and concurrent powers of Province and Local Levels 
  • To identify the areas of confusions and potential disputes between Province and Local Levels
  • To understand and identify the available/potential mechanisms and procedures to resolve the potential disputes between the Province and Local Levels

Expected Output

The following are the expected outputs of the workshop:

  • Elected representatives will have common understanding on the exclusive and concurrent rights of State and Local level Governments
  • Identification of the potential areas of conflicts between State and Local Governments
  • Understanding and identification of existing and potential mechanisms to settle disputes between State and Local Levels

 Programme Implementation

The programme implementation modality was finalized in coordination with PACT and experts whom we mobilized as the resource persons for the event. Series of preliminary meetings were carried out in MuAN office among experts, representatives of MuAN and PACT representatives to finalize the contents and other programme related activities. In addition, MuAN coordinated to Hon. Chief Minister and other provincial ministers, Provincial Government Secretariat, Hon. Speaker of the Provincial Parliaments for their important presence on the occasion in order to ensure their ownership of the outcomes of the events.