Is federalism falling into trap?



Reports say Raut’s supporters outnumbered the cops mobilized to thwart his gathering at Ramananda Chowk on September 19. This is a bad omen for the country that has just found its feet following decades of political turmoil and transition.

In fact, the constitution has not envisaged strong provinces. Rather it grants sweeping powers to the local units so as to bolster the grassroots democracy. But the chief ministers are demanding greater say and more resources where lies the root of the problem. And it is obvious that there will be a trilateral friction between centre, province and local units over the allocation of resources. The provinces and local units are fully relying on the centre as they are yet to tap the potentials existing in their geographies. Federalism is an expensive system that Nepal has adopted to address particularly the demands of Madhesi constituency. The country has to look to foreign donors and investors for major development works. The contribution of taxes to the GDP is only around 15 per cent. This means the country does not have enough resources to oil the wheels of federalism. So there is a risk of the country falling into a trap if the government fails to generate necessary revenues to sustain it.

published Date : 1 October, 2018, Monday

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