No support from the Centre, State still progressing toward development: CM Raut

KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The Chief Minister of province 2, Lal Babu Raut spoke about the current progress made by the state. At a special interaction program organized by the Reporters Club in Kathmandu along with President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala, the CM spoke on the need for more coordination and support from the Centre. The CM said that “the nation after going through federalism was moving toward the path of progress and development, yet due to limited resources the implementation of programs and policies were moving at snail’s pace with no help from the center. Although even with many hurdles he is personally satisfied with the current progress made by his state in areas of incorporating rights to marginalized communities, Dalits, the indigenous and securing women rights.

The CM felt a strong need to specify the roles and responsibilities of the Centre and the state demarcating them in order to avoid imbrication. He spoke about the current structure of bureaucracy which needed a fundamental change to represent more people from the backward and marginalized communities. Although the budget provided from the Centre was not significant enough,  he said that a lot of pro poor policies were being framed in order to significantly make a visible change toward the lives of people who are living in absolute poverty.

The CM spoke about his government which had actively reached out to the grassroots, and various municipalities and local level governance made sincere efforts in order to provide equitable opportunities to the people of the state.

(CM Lal Babu Raut) 

The CM spoke about the recent state laws being passed in order to create more jobs at the state level commission and public service that would enable more people to join government service. In the interaction program, he also requested the media to go to the villages and localities of province 2 and see the changes that have been made possible under his leadership. He said “various measures were taken and still underway to develop schools, health posts, and framing policies that would enable the state to be futuristically progressive.

Talking about the imbalance between the governance of the center and state, the CM gave an example of the ongoing Sagarnath Forestry Development Project that has the state and the center in dispute. The CM said “the mindset of the people in power is still the same towards the oppressed, and we should not give this a political color, rather we should unite as one nation and bring about a solution that would be amicable to both. In order to see a peaceful and developed Nepal, you cannot ignore the people of Madhes”.

The CM spoke regarding various constitutional remedies that are available in order to further increase goodwill and strengthen the relationship between the Centre and state however the latter was not providing adequate support. “We are here because of what is enshrined as rights given to us by the Constitution, but our people have not been adequately represented and thus in order to secure the rights for marginalized, oppressed communities and women, we have to make stronger laws and a constitutional amendment is required”.

President Dhamala asked the CM on whether his government was going to pull out, the CM replied by saying it would be the decision of the party, and although the government has assured him through informal discussions there was an urgency to go forward with the amendment to the constitution.

The CM said that his state had taken out policies that would provide a scholarship of Nrs 500 per month for female students of grade 1 to 8 of marginalized groups. He also said that 14000 cycles were distributed as part of the state governments program in 8 districts. It is also planning to bring more progressive changes that would create opportunities for those that have been denied for over all these years. With more power given to women, the CM felt a necessity to increase the reservation up to 50% in public service commissions and was hopeful that in the coming days more women will hold positions in top ranks in the government and bureaucracy. The CM was also in favor of unification between the Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Party led by Raj Kishore Yadav.