Gandaki province has also started preparations for police act citing difficulty in operating the provincial government in lack of civil and police organizations.
“The government cannot derive power if the chain of command inside the province is not in our hands and there is no civil service that implements laws and deliver service to the people,” Chief Minister (CM) of Gandaki Prithvi Subba Gurung told Setopati. “There is no meaning of provincial government without civil servants and police force.”
“We don’t know when the federal law will be formulated. There are also views that we should make some preparations instead of waiting for the center. We can remove some clauses that contravene the federal law or add some new ones later,” he elaborated.
The constitution says the provinces will have their own police force but the federal parliament must make legislation for that first. The federal law will have provisions about coordination between the federal and provincial police forces and their operation. But the central government has not even taken the draft law to the parliament.
Province 2 formulated its own police law due to this delay by the federal government. The federal government argued that the provinces cannot prepare police law until the center prepares one, and that law cannot be implemented. The police law passed by the provincial assembly has not been sent to the center for authentication as a result.
Article 268(2) of the constitution states that each province will have its own police force. Clause 3 in the same Article states ‘Matters relating to the operation, supervision and coordination of functions to be discharged by the Nepal Police and the state police shall be as provided for in the Federal law.’
The provincial and federal governments have interpreted these two clauses differently and are putting their respective arguments forward.
The federal government claims that the federal law should be formulated first as it should have provision for operation, supervision and coordination of provincial police.
The provincial government of Province 2, on the other hand, contends that the constitution authorizes it to formulate law and it does not explicitly mention that the provincial laws should be formulated only after federal laws.
CM Gurung said the provincial government has not been able to work properly and people have been facing difficulties in comparison to earlier times as the federal government has not listened to the provincial government’s complaints.
“Federalism is a new system and some confusions are expected,” he conceded. “Provinces and provincial governments have been made to deliver services to the people faster. But we are facing problems to even implement the budget. Provincial governments have been made to provide more facilities to the people but the situation is opposite,” he rued.