'Constituency Development Programme expenses going against rule'

KATHMANDU: The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has pointed out that the budget allocated for the Constituency Development Programme (CDP) was being diverted to programmes other than those mentioned in the guideline.

The government had started providing Rs 10 million to each directly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the CDP since the fiscal year 2014/15. The amount was hiked to Rs 10.5 million in 2015/16.

With the two-fold increment in the CDP in the newly unveiled budget announcement for 2016/17, the budget for the CDP has reached Rs 30 million.

OAG Spokesperson Baburam Gautam told the Rastriya Samachar Samiti that in many districts the CDP budget was not spent in specific programmes as mentioned in the guideline. The budget was being spent haphazardly, he claimed.

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"The guideline strictly bars the allocation of the budget to political parties' sister organisations, academies and institutions run in the name of politicians and non-government organisations; but it has been overlooked in many districts," OAG spokesperson Gautam shared.

The annual report on the CDP indicates that the MPs select many projects for their constituency, but seldom accomplish their targets. Likewise, the report shows that many undertakings such as distribution of bicycles, sewing machines and computers were being launched under the CDP going against the guideline.

According to Gautam, many of the bills for reimbursement reach the OAG towards the end of the fiscal year, at mid-July.

While the CDP was launched in 1996/97, the budget allocation for the porgramme stood at Rs 300,000.