Saturday, 2 March, 2024

Result-oriented Move

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli took major decisions on Wednesday that will have important impact on the performance of the government and organisational handling of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The PM reshuffled the Council of Ministers, inducting nine new faces and giving continuity to other 16 members of the cabinet. Six ministers and three state ministers have been inducted in the Council of Ministers and there have also been some changes in portfolios. The cabinet reshuffle has come as a major move of the Prime Minister to make the performance of the government more effective and result-oriented. The move was not taken on an ad hoc and haphazard manner, but with objective evaluation of the performance of the ministers and feedback of the aspirant public.

It is the first major reshuffle made in the Cabinet by Prime Minister Oli after his appointment to the top executive post for the second time in February 2018. He removed six ministers and three state ministers, including two women ministers. But none of the nine inducted new faces are women. It means the 25-mmeber Cabinet has only two women ministers, which is likely to draw criticism from women leaders of the party. Earlier, there were four women, three ministers and one state minister in the cabinet. Prime Minister Oli has also handed over the executive responsibility of party chairman to Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’. By doing so, the Prime Minister wants to fully concentrate on government affairs while taking leisure from the party related responsibilities. In the same way Prachanda as the full-fledged executive head of the party can focus on organisational affairs in an effective manner.

Nepal’s development setbacks and economic backwardness have to do a lot with political instability and lack of rigorous assessment of the members of the Council of Ministers. The strong government led by Prime Minister Oli has the onus to end such a vicious cycle as the people have given solid mandate to NCP for the same. The Prime Minister’s resolve to concentrate on the government for the full term aims at doing away with piecemeal planning and instability. A remarkable feature of this government is beginning of a system under which officials at the government offices including the ministers are required to sign performance contracts and honestly fulfill the pledges made. This way, there is a transparent mechanism in place which clearly gives the picture of desirable performance, under-performance and non-performance.

The system of performance evaluation is not just a ritual or formality. It is a scientific mechanism of measuring work initiation, work progress and ultimate results. Lackadaisical performance and negligent approach invite public ire and complaints which ultimately erode goodwill and trust of the people. The Prime Minister’s move aims to consolidate party organisation as well as take government’s performance to new height with long term goals of development and prosperity. This is a change in the earlier plan of heading the government turn by turn by party chairs. This is a desirable focal approach that will bring positive results.