May 11: The government's decision to give leave for two days a week has been published in the Nepal Gazette, the state-owned national news agency RSS reported. As a result, the decision comes into effect on a trial basis from May 15.
According to the information published in the Nepal Gazette, public holiday's will be available on Saturdays and Sundays. The office hours for the remaining five days will be from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. It will be an hour less during the winter season, RSS reported.
"If the holidays other than the public holidays of Dashain and Tihar scheduled for 2079 BS are more than two consecutive days, then the government agencies providing essential service including the local level will make arrangements for delivering the service flow as per the schedule fixed by the Ministry of Home Affairs from the third day," RSS quoted the decision published in the Nepal Gazette.
It may be noted that the meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 26 had decided to grant leave for two days a week. Prior to this, only Saturday was a public holiday with the office hours from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
While announcing the decision on April 27, Minister for Information and Communication Gyanendra Bahadur Karki had said that the cabinet decided to give holidays for two days a week with the belief that it would reduce fuel consumption.
The concept of two-day holiday a week was implemented by the government more than two decades ago. The provision was implemented on July 17, 1999 during the tenure of then then Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. Such decision was taken upon the recommendation of the then Administrative Reform Commission in 1991 with the objective of reducing administrative costs. The provision was revoked almost after three years without conducting a study on its impact.
Recently, the government had floated a similar concept but to boost the tourism sector that has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts had suggested the government to give two days holiday in a week in order to promote domestic tourism.