--BY MADAN LAMSAL
The rituals to bring federalism in Nepal are over now. Now, the power to govern has reached the villages in the country where various types of governments have been formed. Earlier, there was only one type of government - the one at Singha Durbar. Now, divided mainly into three levels - federal, provincial and local - there are hundreds of governments across the country. Moreover, there is a fourth type of government as well - the district coordination committee (DCC) in each district. The DCCs have been formed so as to help the coordination with the federal or central government for some time. But, let's hope, they too will take deep-root and keep existing to serve the people!
Now new buildings will be erected for the provincial governments. The new offices of the newly-appointed province governors will be set up in these new buildings. New cars will be purchased for them. The chief ministers and ministers will start a completely new political innings in their new offices. Speakers and deputy speakers of the provincial assemblies and the chief secretaries of all the seven provinces will be appointed. Bungalows will have to be built for them, besides the chief attorneys, and the parliamentary party offices of various political parties represented in the provincial assemblies. Around 40 billion rupees will be enough for all this. Some 7,000 new employees, besides the security forces, will get jobs.
New buildings will be built at the local level, for the local governments, as well. Ambulances, fire extinguisher machines, new cars and motorbikes will be purchased, not to mention the money for dozers, tippers and new furniture. The Prime Minister's Office has estimated that around 1,000 billion rupees should be sufficient for all this. In truth, federalism isn't going to cost more than a dime…
As said earlier, there will be new types of governments which may introduce new programmes to produce martyrs at every home. The slogan 'one house, one employment' seems to be working no more. It should be replaced by the slogan - 'one house, one martyr'! With that in place, more families will get the martyr's allowance! So what, if the economic situation of the country has not been very good for some time? The new governments will have to be run and their expenditures met. For that, we the people will have to show that we really love those who will be running these various kinds of governments for us. In other words, we should be willing and ready to cough up new taxes. Then, in return, the new governments will give us development. Those who will run such governments may take some time, to fill in their own bellies first, but they will deliver development ultimately. That's fair enough. How can we expect them to work on empty stomachs?
Many government employees are not willing to be transferred to the offices at the provincial and local levels. But the government is trying to woo them. It has already talked about providing 'encouragement allowances' to such employees. We all know that the government has been providing a 'dress allowance' to the civil servants for many years now so that they can reach their offices all dressed up! Now, they should be paid separate allowances for going to office, touching files, opening the doors and other 'works'. The competition to distribute allowances should continue even if that means emptying the state coffers. From newborns to those aged up to 12 years should be provided a 'child allowance', those between 13 and 18 years 'teenage allowance', those between 18 and 50 years 'youth allowance' and those aged between 51 and 64 should be paid the 'middle-aged allowance'. Thank heavens that those above 65 years of age are already getting a lifelong 'old age allowance'.
Every single Nepali should get this or that allowance. Nobody should miss this opportunity. It is said some people are already receiving an old age allowance though they are just 35 and some women are getting the 'single woman allowance' though they are living with their husbands.
In yesteryears, only those living in Narayanhiti would get allowances as rulers. Later, many other new kings appeared in the capital in the form of the elected representatives and took control of state power and allowances. Now an opportunity has come where the power to rule and provide allowances has reached the provincial and local levels. Let's welcome this. Because...
Allowances are our culture, they must be preserved
To rule is their right, so they must be revered
Not only should the people be sold new dreams,
New allowances should also be fed to them to make them fatter