Local level elections have just been held. The executive was formed after the local elections to provide services to the people closely. According to the pre-election manifesto for the development of the local level, the elected people’s representatives will have to formulate the next action plan. It is their responsibility to design the infrastructure based on the needs of the people and to fulfill the aspirations of the people. It is also a challenging opportunity to transform one’s commitment to the needs of the people and win their hearts by making the plan short-term and long-term.
Nepal’s 2072 constitution envisages three levels of government, federal, state and local. Constitutionally, the federal, state and local levels have been assigned rights and responsibilities. The list of single rights of the local level and the list of common rights of all the three levels is mentioned in Schedules 8 and 9 of the constitution so that the state power can be used properly by the federal, state and local levels. It is said to maintain economic equality by assimilating the sovereign rights, autonomy and right of self-government of the people. In addition, the concept of building an egalitarian society based on the principles of proportional inclusion and participation has been put forward to ensure prosperity and social justice.
In order to build a prosperous nation by fulfilling the aspirations of the people for lasting peace, good governance, development, rule of law and prosperity in the country, the local level should institutionalize the legislative, executive and judicial practices within its jurisdiction. Although the functions, duties and rights of the local government are clearly defined constitutionally and legally, there is a kind of confusion about the future course of action of the local government. What can be done to meet the needs of the people? Attempts have been made to raise some issues on how local government can truly become a people’s government.
1. Knowledge of constitutional rights
The people’s representatives at the local level should keep in mind the constitutional rights of the federal, state and local levels. Information should be taken about the spirit and essence of the constitution, fundamental rights, local executive, local legislature, local economic system, judicial sector. What are the provisions of the constitution regarding the arrangement of the committee, the interrelationship of the union, state and local level, the single and common rights of the local level? Everyone should be aware of that. Since the local level has to run the local government within its jurisdiction, it is necessary to be aware of its constitutional rights.
What is the status of legislation so far on issues falling under the jurisdiction of the local level? How is it being implemented? Which should be amended, modified or repealed, how many new laws should be made? You have to be careful about that. When making laws in this way, the local government should do so in a way that does not conflict with the federal and state laws.
2. Information about the Local Government Operation Act
Since the basic document of local government operation is the Local Government Operation Act, 2074, it is necessary to be aware of one’s rights and role and limits of authority. Information is required about the powers of the village and municipality, the functions, duties and powers of the ward committee as well as the chairman or chief, vice-chairman or deputy chief, ward chairman. It is important to know the functions, duties and rights of the executive members, planning and implementation, and how the meetings of the assembly are conducted. The Local Government Operation Act, 2074 covers some important issues. For example, local legislature, local executive, local level financial jurisdiction, financial system, administrative organization and staff management, staffing, work, duties and rights of the chief administrative officer, etc. Local people’s representatives should be aware of these issues in detail.
3. Evaluation and analysis of unaccounted amount
You need to find out how much money is still missing at your local level. Also, you need to find a reason to be unhappy. We have to work in a way to control the future in-depth by thoroughly analyzing the expenditure under the heading of which program and in which quarterly.
4. Human resource management
Keeping human resource management dynamic, agile, accurate is indispensable in today’s digital age. Which employee has expertise in which subject? What skills and experience do you have? Giving him the responsibility of which thematic area, branch, division increases productivity, who needs what kind of training? Gaining information about this, a detailed action plan should be made. At the same time, their capacity needs to be developed.
5. The practice of administrative federalism
Complaints that the country has moved to federalism but administrative federalism has not yet been practiced can be properly addressed. We need to develop an administrative system that provides job security, work environment, motivation, additional responsibilities, incentives, and equal opportunities for all manpower.
It is necessary to end the habit of sidelining someone and sidelining someone and provide work responsibilities according to knowledge, skill, ability and efficiency.
6. Local level self-assessment
At the local level, by self-assessing the issues related to various thematic areas, one should analyze the strengths of the municipality, the aspects that need to be improved, the opportunities and challenges so far, make an action plan for the future and implement it. Where have we been in the past, what was our condition, what are our weaknesses, what are our strengths? Information should be taken about this. What are your challenges and opportunities? What is the responsibility to be fulfilled now? In what areas do we need to improve our programming? There should be enough information about this.
Since the analysis of these things will be done by self-assessment at the local level, each local government should evaluate its own municipality. Among the main assessment tools of the local level, the local level should prepare medium term expenditure structure, local level self-assessment, local economic assessment, gender equality and social inclusion test, social test, local level management test. This will help in finding out the status of each municipality. Analyzing the problem helps in making future action plan. Such assessments and tests should be done every year.
7. Periodic planning
Development plan is the goal, policy, strategy and program to be achieved within a certain period of time to fulfill the objective of overall economic and social development. The development plan is the documentation of the resources required for the implementation of such programs and the results obtained from them. Since the plan decides where we are today, where we will be tomorrow, how long it will take, and for what purpose, the local government should also make its own plan.
There are different types of plans depending on the theme and trend of the plan. However, in terms of scope and location, there are three types of planning – National Periodic Development Plan, Provincial Periodic Development Plan and Local Level Periodic Development Plan.
The local level should formulate projects of municipal pride, cultural, economic development and other schemes. Strategic plans of long-term importance should be formulated and implemented. As the periodic plan is a document of the overall plan, it determines the status of the municipality in the coming years. With the commencement of systematic and sustainable development, the local level will prosper with the best use of resources, labor and technology.
8. Addressing the basic needs of the people
The basic needs of the people are food, shelter and cotton. Local government is the government at the doorstep of the people. As the local government is the center of happiness, sorrow, hope and trust of the people, the local government also has the responsibility to fulfill the basic needs of the people.
The local level should create a conducive environment for every household at every local level. For this, the local government should create employment opportunities and formulate policies, plans and programs. Employment increases income and contributes to quality of life.
Housing is another indispensable need for the people. It is the responsibility of the local government to provide systematic accommodation for the people in its area. Landless, homeless, existing settlers should be managed by adopting a systematic settlement policy.
Even if the resources are not enough, the local government has to solve the basic problems of the people. Therefore, long-term planning should be made and implemented for this. Necessary consultation should be held with the government or private barren land concerned parties within the local level to carry out commercial agriculture, animal husbandry or other income generating activities according to local needs. From this, poor and unemployed people at the local level can be employed. Employing local people in local development works increases their income and makes their livelihood easier.
9. Local government, administration and management
The ego has the role of the local government and administration to properly manage, direct, regulate and operate all the working organs under the local level. The local government should formulate necessary policies and laws on matters falling under its jurisdiction, manage the resources, tools and technology including the work of directing the local level and create an environment in which the staff administration works according to the development administration’s goal.
Democracy is understood as a system of government by the people, for the people, by the people. In order to fulfill the wishes, aspirations, desires and needs of the people, the local government should carry out its functions using the highest level of the local machinery as the people are the elected representatives of the people from among themselves to exercise the sovereign rights of the people. We have all the knowledge, skills, capital, technology. Its overall management will increase the access of the people to accessible, fast, quality service delivery, good governance, transparency and information technology.
When the local government decides the course of action for the coming year, it is important to pay attention to the long-term plan that belongs to all, benefits everyone, is memorable for future generations and can improve the living standards of the people. Doing so will increase the federalism we want and the effectiveness and credibility of the services it provides. This is to help the country move towards greater prosperity in the pace of development.
As the local level is an autonomous body, it has its own jurisdiction. Proper use of these rights requires knowledge of policies and laws. Many people’s representatives at our local level are known in the society. There are more people than expected. The people’s representatives should always be vigilant to act in such a way as to guarantee good governance to the people. Local level employees should also explain to the people’s representatives that this is a legal provision. Only then will there be good relations between development and its partners. The credibility of the local government has to be maintained in the minds of the people. This is the cornerstone of nation building.
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