On 6 January 2020, Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC) Centre for Federalism Studies (CFS) organized a “High-level Interaction Programme on Intergovernmental Relation” in Biratnagar, Province No. 1. Participants include Chief Minister Serdhan Rai, Minister Hikmat Karki, Speaker Pradeep Bhandari, Deputy Speaker Saraswati Pokharel, Chair of Parliamentary Committees, Members of Provincial Assembly, Principal Secretary, Secretary of Office of Chief Minister and Council of Ministers (OCMCM), Secretary of Provincial Assembly, and other senior bureaucrats of the Province Government.

Dr. Bipin Adhikari, who served as a resource person on the Constitution highlighted that Nepal’s federal system is unique and with some complexities. He also highlighted the key provisions of intergovernmental relations in the proposed Federal, Province, and Local level Interrelation Management bill passed by the National Assembly to House of Representatives. He urged the Province Government to take initiatives to interact more with the different spheres of government to find a good solution in disputed issues.

Meanwhile, Sherdhan Rai, Chief Minister of Province No. 1, thanked NASC for organizing the event and highlighted the experience of the Province Government in exercising its mandate.

Principal Secretary Suresh Adhikari broadly highlighted the current issues faced by the Province Government such as issues on the budget, law making process, natural resources, facilities, land, foreign assistance, and human resource management. He pointed out the need for more dialogues and learning-sharing sessions to help improve the understanding of all spheres of government.

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Pradeep Kumar Bhandari, Speaker of Provincial Assembly, in his closing remarks thanked all participants and asked for similar types of interactions and events.

NASC will compile the reports from all provincial interactions and share this with federal and province governments as reference document to promote common understanding among the spheres of the government.

The DFAT-TAF Strategic Partnership on Subnational Governance Program is supporting the Centre for Federalism Studies, a semi-autonomous and dedicated unit within NASC and aimed to produce knowledge and build public sector capacity for successful implementation of federalism in Nepal.

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