Introduction to Local Level

The bottom line unit of Nepal's state structure is the local level. At the local level, there are municipalities, rural municipalities and district assemblies established in accordance with the constitution. The local level exercise state power and maintain governance within the specified geography. The municipalities and the rural municipalities use the state power provided by the constitution as an administrative units whereas district assembly plays a role of coordination among and between federal, province and local levels within their jurisdiction. The local level is considered as the government at the citizen’s doorstep. The Constitution has mainly assigned the responsibility of providing basic services at the local level, ensuring participation of citizens in the governing system of the state, developmental activities at the local level and social security, among others. As local governments are the government nearest to citizens, the more flexible and competent it is, the stronger the democratic system would be. The Constitution has ensured that the local level would provide uninterrupted basic services, and, therefore, the local governments are regarded as provided exclusive status with continuous tenure and stability. At the local level, although, there is election among political parties to take charge, but there is no party system in operation of local governments. Therefore, all elected representatives have collective responsibility for operation of local governments as executives and law-makers. Local governments also apply all rights as of federal or provincial governments. Since the Constitution gives municipalities and rural municipalities the authority to legislate in their jurisdiction, the local level of Nepal has more rights and autonomy than any other federal country in the world. The legislative rights are vested on ‘municipal assembly’ while the ‘executive’ right is exercised by ‘municipal executive’. Similarly, the judicial committees would provide services related to justice within the constitutional and legal framework. There are currently 753 local levels in Nepal- six Metropolitan, 11 Sub-metropolitan, 263 Municipalities and 460 Rural Municipalities.

Among from the local levels within a district a District Assembly is constituted. The District Assembly would form a nine-member District Coordination Committee. The District Assembly has received rights to coordinate among Municipalities and Rural Municipalities within the district. It would also coordinate among federal, provincial and local offices operating in the district and monitor development activities in the District. There are 77 District Assemblies, one in each district.

Powers of Local Level (Municipalities and Rural Municipalities)

Schedule-8 (Exclusive)

(Relating to clause (4) of Article 57, clause (2) of Article 214,

clause (2) of Article 221 and clause (1) of Article 226) of The Constitution of Nepal, 2015 A.D

  1. Town police
  2. Cooperative institutions
  3. Operation of F.M.
  4. Local taxes (wealth tax, house rent tax, land and building registration fee, motor vehicle tax), service charge, fee, tourism fee, advertisement tax, business tax, land tax (land revenue), penalty, entertainment tax, land revenue collection
  5. Management of the Local services
  6. Collection of local statistics and records
  7. Local level development plans and projects
  8. Basic and secondary education
  9. Basic health and sanitation
  10. Local market management, environment protection and biodiversity
  11. Local roads, rural roads, agro-roads, irrigation
  12. Management of Village Assembly, Municipal Assembly, District Assembly, local courts, mediation and arbitration
  13. Local records management
  14. Distribution of house and land ownership certificates
  15. Agriculture and animal husbandry, agro-products management, animal health, cooperatives
  16. Management of senior citizens, persons with disabilities and the incapacitated
  17. Collection of statistics of the unemployed
  18. Management, operation and control of agricultural extension
  19. Water supply, small hydropower projects, alternative energy
  20. Disaster management
  21. Protection of watersheds, wildlife, mines and minerals
  22. Protection and development of languages, cultures and fine arts

Powers of Federal, Provincial and Local Level

Schedule-9 (Concurrent Powers)

(Relating to clause (5) of Articles 57, Article 109, clause (4) of Article 162, and Article 197, clause (2) of Article 214, clause (2) of Article 221, and clause (1) of

Article 226) of The Constitution of Nepal, 2015

  1. Cooperatives
  2. Education, health and newspapers
  3. Health
  4. Agriculture
  5. Services such as electricity, water supply, irrigation
  6. Service fee, charge, penalty and royalty from natural resources, tourism fee
  7. Forests, wildlife, birds, water uses, environment, ecology and bio-diversity
  8. Mines and minerals
  9. Disaster management
  10. Social security and poverty alleviation
  11. Personal events, births, deaths, marriages and statistics
  12. Archaeology, ancient monuments and museums
  13. Landless squatters management
  14. Royalty from natural resources
  15. Motor vehicle permits