VOL. 05, NO. 05, August 19, 2011 (Bhadra 02, 2068)
Despite their major contribution in the development sector of Nepal, International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) are having to face hurdles created by the government
By A CORRESSPONDENT
From remote rural parts of Nepal to urban areas, International Non-Governmental Organizations have been working to fulfil the need of marginalized poor people by supporting various programs in health, water, sanitation, and nutrition as well as awareness campaign.
According to an estimate of the Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (AIN), INGOs have been bringing more than 10 billion rupees in Nepal. Even Nepal Rastra Bank acknowledges the contribution made by INGOs in its recent economic update.
Despite such contributions, INGOs rarely get the due response for their contribution in Nepal. Although the government agreed to clear the projects related to development and humanitarian areas submitted by INGOs, it is yet to implement them in reality.
The Project Appraisal and Facilitation Committee has started to work, but its work is slow and there continues to be numerous bureaucratic hurdles. INGOs see the facilitation committee is a misnomer. Instead of facilitating the work of INGOs, it has proved to be a controlling mechanism.
The consequences of the delay are extremely serious, particularly on human lives, and they are directly affecting the most vulnerable groups in Nepal namely women, children, and persons with disabilities and marginalized communities.
At a time when the INGOs have been facing hurdles, the recent letter by the Department of Labor has created havocs. The foreigners, who are working in Nepal, get the permission from the Ministry of Home following the approval given by the Social Welfare Council, and the Department of Labor directly knocks the door of INGOs.
As the country has been passing through a very fragile situation with political instability, the Department of Labor has sent follow-up letters, one after another to INGOs. There clearly is a lack of coordination among the government agencies.
Although local bodies are given the rights to monitor the activities of various NGOs and INGOs in their own areas for a long time, the District Development Committees are now asking INGOs to submit their annual programs to them.
As most of the INGOs have been working in several districts, this provision will create more hurdles to the INGOs.
The government has committed itself on numerous occasions to provide full access for development and humanitarian personnel to all people in need of assistance to make available all necessary facilities for their operations and to promote the freedom of movement of such personnel.
If the government continues to create hurdles, more INGOs will find it more difficult to work. At a time when development aid is gradually declining due to economic recession, INGOs - which have been bringing money to serve the poor people, need to be encouraged.
Less than three months after a major reshuffle, the government again transferred the secretaries in various ministries
By A CORRESSPONDENT
Whether anyone cared to oppose or support his move, prime minister Jhalanath Khanal seemed to be determined to implement the cabinet decision regarding the transfer of secretaries. After heated debates in the cabinet meeting where some ministers as well as chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire opposed the proposal, the cabinet approved the posting of five secretaries and transfer of six.
The cabinet endorsed the decision at about 10 at night just two days before the resignation of prime minister Khanal. Chief secretary Ghimire objected to the proposal saying that these kinds of haphazard and untimely transfers will destabilize the bureaucracy.
Despite the controversy in the cabinet meeting, the government transferred nine secretaries to various ministries. According to sources at the cabinet secretariat, chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire said the transfers were haphazard.
Pururshotam Ojha, who was transferred to cabinet secretariat three months ago from Ministry of Trade, was sent to the same ministry calling back secretary Sushil Sumsher Jung Bahadur Rana at the cabinet secretariat.
When some secretaries expressed resentment with the chief secretary regarding the transfers, the chief secretary reportedly told his colleagues that he will not issue transfer order if there is injustice.
Brinda Hada was transferred to Ministry of Irrigation from Nepal Trust and present secretary Tana Gautam, who was just transferred three months ago to the ministry, was sent to Nepal Trust. Secretary of Labor and Transport Management Dinesh Hari Adhikari was transferred to Vice President’s Office and Dr. Ram Hari Aryal took the charge of Labor and Transport Management.
Keshab Prasad Bhattarai, secretary at the Ministry of Land Reforms was sent to the Ministry of Science and Technology and Jaya Mukunda Khanal as a secretary to Land Reforms and Management. Similarly Hari Kumar Nepal was transferred to the Ministry of Federal Affairs. Jaya Mukunda Khanal was transferred as a secretary of Forest and Soil Conservation. Khanal was in administrator of Far west region.
Recently promoted four secretaries were sent to administrators of four regions. Suresh Man Pradhan, Bishwo Prakash Pandit, Tulsi Sitaula and Madhav Regmi were posted to central, Far West, Western and Mid-Western Regions respectively.
Nepal’s bureaucracy is often politicized to fulfill vested interests of politicians and political parties. Some secretaries who were transferred just three months ago termed the decision as unjust.