Gadtaula appointed acting Chief Secretary

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By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, June 25: The government has appointed senior most Secretary of the Nepal government Lila Devi Gadtaula as the Acting Chief Secretary.

A meeting of the Council of Ministers held at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers in Singha Durbar on Monday decided to assign Gadtaula, the Law Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the responsibilities of Acting Chief Secretary.

Incumbent Chief Secretary Dr. Baikuntha Aryal was suspended on Sunday after a corruption case  was filed against him by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) at the Special Court. Gadtaula started serving as the Acting Chief Secretary on Sunday.

Speaking to journalists after the Cabinet meeting, Minister for Communication and Information Technology Rekha Sharma, who is also the government spokesperson, said Secretary Gadtaula would handle the responsibilities of Acting Chief Secretary until a new Chief Secretary is appointed.

However, Gadtaula is set to retire compulsorily at the age limit of 58 from mid-September.

“The government has also decided to create a special position equivalent to Chief Secretary and transferred the suspended Chief Secretary Dr. Aryal to the National Planning Commission,” said Minister Sharma. 

Since Chief Secretary Aryal did not resign, he was transferred to the Planning Commission by creating a special position of the special class, Minister Sharma clarified. 

Previously, in the year 2006, then Chief Secretary Lokman Singh Karki was also transferred to the Planning Commission by creating a special position.Similarly, the Cabinet meeting has decided to transfer financial equalisation grant to local bodies.

As per the decision, the government decided to transfer remaining Rs. 16.99 billion to local bodies by cutting 7 per cent from the total allocated grant of Rs. 81. 23 billion. The transferred grant will be of 93 per cent from the total allocated grant, said Minister Sharma. Earlier, the government had distributed Rs. 64.24 billion to the local bodies. 

Local body chiefs had demanded a 100 per cent grant a few days ago when they met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. 

Meanwhile, when asked about position of suspended Chief Secretary Dr. Aryal, Minister Sharma said no one should be considered guilty until proven so by the court when a case is filed against anybody. 

“When someone is accused, they are not considered guilty. The position itself remains suspended throughout the duration of the case. It’s not a situation where the position is vacant. Instead, he will remain suspended until the case concludes. The position doesn’t become vacant until the court finds him guilty. Due to this reason, a special position has been created. This specific position will remain throughout his term. Once his term ends, the special position will automatically be terminated,” Minister Sharma said. 

The government has also appointed Uddhav Prasad Timalsina of Kathmandu as member to the Problematic Cooperative Organisations Management Committee.

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