Federalism in Nepal

Federalism is a new topic in the context of Nepal. The country was once a democratic state with the figurative head as a King. But after the people’s war led by Maoist Insurgency, a new constitution was promulgated in 2015 which safeguarded the rights of women, marginalized groups, poor, underprivileged and inclusive categories.

The election of 2017 established three tiers of government i.e. Federal, Provincial and Local government. Federalism is the division of authority and power into different sub-units.

Article 232 (1) of the present Constitution 2015, defines the relationship between federal, provincial, and local level governments based on the principle of coordination, co-existence, and cooperation. They are independent units but interrelated with each other.

This system of government is innovative, scientific, and advanced. But the system is guided by the same immature and unproductive leaders.

People resist change. The change is inevitable. Even though the country has adopted the new political structure, the system is administered by the same faces with the centralized power vested in a limited person.

Federalism can be linked to decentralization. The division of power into different layers of government.

The federal government act as the established institution that passes the bill to the legislature finally forming the Act or Policy. Based on it, the provincial and local levels establish and direct the rules and regulations to administer their respective constituencies.

But the federal level government is always bounded by disruption. The system is dysfunctional when the parliament is governed by different political entities.

A single political party never has the majority to bring a uniform government in all the structures of government.

So, they are always tuned to dirty politics in search of power and form a weak and unstable government.

It causes a direct impact on the governing institute i.e. Federal units and its incapability to formulate the laws in many vulnerable and critical subjects like civil service, land, police force, health, and education.

The provincial and local levels to formulate sub-laws and policies needs to be dependent on the Federal structure since Article 133 of the constitution mentions that any law enacted by provincial governments will be void if it is inconsistent with any federal law.

Apart from that, the figurative head has a broader influence in a country like Nepal. Once their government collapse, the sub-hierarchies of different layers of government dissolve automatically.

This is bad for the economy and development of the country. It paralyzes developmental activities and disrupts the overall reforms required for society.

While looking at the International practice of Federalism, the United States of America has an effective and efficient system of governance structure.

Once, the people elect the President of America, that leader is given the complete autonomy to run the government for five years. The stability is at its peak.

Instead of imitating such practices, Nepal always an expectation of donations, aid, and grants to make the civilians believe that the leaders could develop the country rapidly.

What matters the most for the politician is a “vote of confidence”. The ministers should entertain all the supporters to stay in power and position.

There should be a direct election to choose the head of the country on the basis of trust, abilities, competencies, and dedication toward the nation.

The true sense of federalism only exists when the authority is given the responsibility to change the incompetent governance structure and impact the lives of ordinary people toward a better future.

Note: The featured image is credited to the kathmandupost.com

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