Federalism Practice in Nepal Prospects and Upshots

Keshav Kumar Acharya, Anil Chandrika


This paper examines the core attributes and characteristics of federalism such as state restructuring, power-sharing, ensuring fundamental rights, and intergovernmental relationships. These are underpinned by constitutional provisions of 2015. Both primary and secondary information were used as a data sources. However, the constitution 2015 and citizens' responses were used as major sources of information. Seventy-two key informant interviews were administered purposely to triangulate the results. Findings indicate that the state was reformed into 7 provinces, and 753 local government units. However, much debate and discussions could not take place adequately on behalf of the state regarding the state restructuring process, nor had any established principles and criteria been used. As a result, there are many doubts have been emerged to implement federalism at the grassroots level. Although the government saying was that few indicators were designed to restructure the local governments, the political parties mainly Madheshi and identity-based sub-regional groups differed to the government decision. In addition, the constitution gives legislative, executive, and judiciary functions to all levels of governments, while capacity restraints, and lack of adequate legal procedures; federation have been extending its dominant role. Latterly, the inter-government relationship was adversely affected due for various reasons. For instance, firstly, imbalances of vertical and horizontal relationships; Secondly, provincial, and local governments' fiscal dependency on the federal government; and thirdly, power-seeking attitude of the bureaucracy. In the end, an applicable mechanism of service delivery and governance integrity is recommended for to effective federalization.


Federalism; state restructuring; local governments; power sharing; Constitution; Nepal

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33687/jsas.009.01.3403


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Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
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