Officials divided over proposal to pick non-bureaucrat project chiefs

Kathmandu, May 31

As Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada announced, while presenting the annual budget plan on Wednesday, that the government would appoint chiefs of development projects from outside the bureaucracy, officials have suggested potential effects of the decision.

Whereas some officials view that the decision may be helpful in completing the projects on time others argue that it could be just an excuse to appoint people close to the leadership.

A joint secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport says there is a severe lack of efficient managers in the bureaucracy currently; and it has been affecting the project performance. Hence, the decision could address the problem, according to him.

There are around 2,000 infrastructure projects in Nepal which have already crossed their deadlines.

A Deputy Director General of the Department of Roads, however, views that the decision was made with a view of appointing people of the leadership’s favour. He says there are many prominent engineers in the civil service who can lead development projects.

The official gives an example of Nepal Electricity Authority chief Kul Man Ghising to argue that government officials can make big changes if given an opportunity.

He warns that picking project chiefs from outside the civil service may create a gap between government officials and project officials, further lingering the projects.


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