CIVIL SERVICE

Major Reshuffle<br>A CORRESSPONDENT

May 29, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-23 May 27 -2011 (Jestha 13,2068)

Although the transfer of 26 secretaries is relatively based on performance, Nepal civil service is yet to build a mechanism to choose the right person in the right place


After many years, Nepal’s civil service has witnessed a major overhauling at the top level with the transfer of 26 secretaries in various ministries. Previously, transfers were normally made for few ministries. This time the transfer was major.

However, many civil servants held the view that the choice of secretaries was not at par with their experiences and academic backgrounds. Although chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire was able to reassert his authority in the transfers, the criteria chosen for transfers put some secretaries ‘as the right person in the wrong place’.


Purna Kadauria, who has been in the Ministry of Housing and Physical Planning for the last five years as a secretary, set a record as the longest serving secretary in one ministry. Promoted as an acting secretary five years ago, secretary Kadauria retained his position all the time: two different political systems and several ministers. He is known as an all-weather secretary.


The transfer of Lilamani Paudel from Prime Minister’s secretariat to the Ministry of Home Affairs is regarded as a major change. Known for his decisive action and daring personality, Poudel, who saved Nepal from facing major national embarrassment by stopping efforts of Tibetan refugees to take the Tibetan flag to the top of Everest in 2008 Beijing Olympics, to the Ministry of Home Affairs at this juncture, is very crucial.  After a few months, he was transferred from the ministry and was posted him in the Prime Minister’s office.


With the request from Indian side, Nepal-India high level security talks were postponed for an indefinite period and Indians are raising the issues of fake Indian currency smuggling from Nepal, Air Marshal and most importantly extradition treaty. At the national level, Maoists move to acquit cases against Maoist cadres is another thorny issue.


Having served as a Nepali consulate general in Lhasa, Paudel knows the art of diplomacy and is capable enough to manage tough times. “I will work for the nation and protection of national interest is my prime concern,” said secretary Poudel, who was summoned from Civil Service Mt. Everest Expedition Team to take his new position.   


As a cadre of Ministry of Finance, Balananda Sharma Paudel’s transfer to the Ministry of Finance would have been the most appropriate choice. However, he was moved to Ministry of Energy from Ministry of General Administration. He served more than 28 months in the Ministry and set a record of longest serving secretary. At a time when the country has been passing through long hours of load shedding, Paudel, who is also involved in the privatization process of Butwal Power Company, can contribute to involve private sectors in power development. Paudel also served in senior position at the secretariat of former prime minister late Man Mohan Adhikary.


Similarly, Tana Gautam, who was a secretary of National Vigilance Center, is transferred as a secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation. Active and dedicated to his work, Gautam, who completed his certificate level of Engineering from Engineering Campus, can contribute in policy level.
After staying for more than five months in jobless office of Nepal Trust, Shanker Koirala got transferred to the Ministry of Industry. Soft spoken Koirala, who was transferred to Nepal Trust from Ministry of Energy following dispute with Minister of Energy Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat on the appointment of chairman of Tamakosi Hydro Power Project, can use his expertise in the ministry.


Chhabiraj Panta was among a few lucky people to get lucrative but highly controversial ministry. Although he is going to complete his tenure in less than two months, he is transferred to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation. Many see his transfer is related in lifting the ban on cutting trees.


Three months after Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal assumed office, the cabinet meeting on last Saturday reshuffled responsibilities of 26 secretaries.


After the recommendation of a three-member committee of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Minister for Defense Bishnu Paudel and Minister for General Administration Yuba Raj Karki, the government reshuffled responsibility of secretaries.


Although he served almost three years in Home Ministry, soft spoken Govinda Kusum was sent to Prime Minister’s Office to have some relief and relaxation. Secretary Krishnahari Banskota is among a few lucky secretaries who remained in his position as the finance secretary.


Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Purushottam Ojha has been transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office. He was replaced by cadre of Home Ministry Sushil Jung Rana, who was secretary to the Sports and Youth Ministry.


Sushil Ghimire is also from the lucky few to get the top ministry. Ghimire was moved to the Ministry of Local Development from Ministry of Information. Young and dynamic Krishna Gyanwali is sent to Ministry of Environment from Ministry of Local Development. Known for his expertise on agriculture, Ganesh Raj Joshi, who went to hand over the letter of dismissal of then army chief Rukmagad Katuwal as an acting defense secretary, moved to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation.


At his last leg of career and known for his close association as a democrat, Shyam Prasad Mainali was transferred to the Public Service Commission from Water and Energy Commission. Blamed for non-performing, Kishor Thapa , who secured first position in all his academic years, was transferred to the Election Commission. After serving less than four months, Shital Babu Regmi was transferred to the Water and Energy Commission from Ministry of Energy.


As someone who spent all his career in the aviation sector, Yagya Gautam is an asset in Nepal’s civil aviation and tourism sector. However, he was sent to Election Commission after promotion and now he is transferred to the National Vigilance Centre as a non-performer secretary.


The sole woman secretary in the government, Brinda Hada, is yet to find a permanent place. She was transferred to National Information Commission when she had differences with the Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Sarbadev Ojha. Hada was transferred to another non-performing office Nepal Trust from National Planning Commission. Similarly, Uma Kanta Jha was transferred to the Information Commission from Ministry of Irrigation.


Yubaraj Bhusal, father in law of NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel’s daughter, and Soma Lal Subedi have been transferred to the National Planning Commission and the Prime Minister’s Office (Reserve) respectively. Pratap Kumar Pathak was sent to the Ministry of General Administration, Shreedhar Gautam to the Ministry of Information and Communications and Similarly, as per the new assignment, Ananda Pokharel to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Sri Ram Panta to the Ministry of Youth and Sports,


Secretaries who retained their positions are Shankar Pandey to the Ministry of Education, Ram Hari Aryal to the Ministry of Science and Technology,  Dhruba Sharma secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, Keshav Bhattarai secretary at the Ministry of Land Reform and Management and Chaudhari, secretary of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Bimal Wagle, secretary to Prime Minister’s Office. Pramod Kumar Karki Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Shyam Dotel, secretary at Ministry of Culutre and Defense secretary Nabin Prasad Ghimire.


Although transfer of bureaucrats is a normal process, due to political intervention, this time also some selection decision put the right person in the wrong place.


The sole woman secretary in the government, Brinda Hada, is yet to find a permanent place. She was transferred to National Information Commission when she had differences with the Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Sarbadev Ojha. Hada was transferred to another non-performing office Nepal Trust from National Planning Commission. Similarly, Uma Kanta Jha was transferred to the Information Commission from Ministry of Irrigation.


Yubaraj Bhusal, father in law of NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel’s daughter, and Soma Lal Subedi have been transferred to the National Planning Commission and the Prime Minister’s Office (Reserve) respectively. Pratap Kumar Pathak was sent to the Ministry of General Administration, Shreedhar Gautam to the Ministry of Information and Communications and Similarly, as per the new assignment, Ananda Pokharel to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Sri Ram Panta to the Ministry of Youth and Sports,


Secretaries who retained their positions are Shankar Pandey to the Ministry of Education, Ram Hari Aryal to the Ministry of Science and Technology,  Dhruba Sharma secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation, Keshav Bhattarai secretary at the Ministry of Land Reform and Management and Chaudhari, secretary of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Bimal Wagle, secretary to Prime Minister’s Office. Pramod Kumar Karki Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Shyam Dotel, secretary at Ministry of Culutre and Defense secretary Nabin Prasad Ghimire.


Although transfer of bureaucrats is a normal process, due to political intervention, this time also some selection decision put the right person in the wrong place.

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