When Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal ordered chief secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire to summon the meeting of the promotion board, he reportedly gave assurances to one of the joint secretaries that he would be promoted.
With the initiative of Prime Minister Khanal, the meeting was summoned and 15 joint secretaries were selected as possible candidates for the post of secretary as legal requirement.
When the final list of the candidates was proposed at the cabinet meeting, the prime minister’s own nominee failed to get the promotion. A cabinet meeting promoted five joint secretaries ignoring the seniority list recommended by the Promotion Committee.
Out of 15 recommended by the committee, Lalmani Joshi, Madhav Regmi, Tulsi Sitaula, Bishwo Prakash Pandit and Suresh Man Shrestha have been promoted to the post of secretary though they were in the fourth, sixth, 10th, 11th and 14th places in the seniority list.
“There is nothing like this and secretaries are promoted on the basis of their qualification and their experiences. There has been a tendency in civil service to criticize the process when some body does not get promotion,” said a secretary on condition of anonymity.
Unlike in the past, this time one of the most predicted candidates Dr. Krishna Chandra Paudel, joint secretary at the Ministry of Soil Conservation, failed to be promoted to the position of secretary. It is reported that CPN-UML affiliated Employees Association protested Dr. Paudel’s promotion.
The cabinet also dropped Arjun Bhandari who was reportedly in the number one place in the list of 16 candidates. Many see this is a serious blow to the seniority and working performance criteria.
Bureaucratic values and system of promotion are gradually getting derailed in the country and the political maneuvering and political affiliation count much in the promotion to higher positions. “Nepal’s bureaucracy is too much politicized; the norms, chains and seniority criteria are gradually breaking,” said Dr. Bhimdev Bhatta, administration expert.