Kathmandu, December 28
Six months after the fiscal 2019-20 began, National Planning Commission (NPC), the federal government’s topmost planning body, has prepared 654 projects under the heading of special grants recipients for the ongoing fiscal year.
As per NPC, it has segregated the projects and programmes for the provincial governments and local levels as per their demands and requirements.
Puspa Raj Kadel, vice-chairperson of NPC, informed that the delay in finalising the projects was caused due to the inability of provincial and local governments to submit their projects earlier as per the procedure developed by the commission.
On December 11, 2018, the government had developed the ‘Procedure for Special Grants’ with necessary provisions regarding the grants to be provided to projects or programmes run by the provincial or local levels.
Of the total 753 local bodies, 149 were deemed ineligible for the special grants as they did not fulfil the criteria set in the procedure.
The federal government may provide special grants for any project or programme to be run by the provincial or local levels for educational development of areas with low literary rate, lacking basic health services, sanitation, water supply and for upliftment of groups or communities, equitable economic and social development, among others.
According to the procedure, special grants may also be provided to maintain balance among the local levels or provinces in terms of physical and human development, ensure food security in the areas with low food production, and manage waste by using modern technologies.
As per NPC, it has finalised 50 projects and programmes for seven provincial governments and 604 projects and programmes for the local levels.
While the local governments had requested special grants of Rs 12.50 billion, they were allocated Rs 4.83 billion.
Meanwhile, the provinces had sought special grants worth Rs 22.56 billion but were allocated only Rs 4.60 billion.
Of the total 50 projects, it has allocated special grants for nine projects in Province 1, seven projects in Province 2, five projects in Province 3, four projects in Gandaki Province, six projects in Province 5, 11 projects in Karnali Province and eights projects in Sudur Paschim Province.
NPC has said that it will soon call on the provinces and local levels to submit their proposed projects and programmes for the special grants for the next fiscal year to ensure its timely execution.
“No provincial or local levels shall be allowed to use the special grants in projects or programmes operated with equalisation, conditional and complementary grants or its own resources,” the procedure states.
The benefits to be obtained from the projects or programmes, capacity of provincial or local levels to mobilise resources and their economic condition and need and priority for the projects or programmes shall be taken as the base while providing and determining the amount of special grants, the procedure states.
A version of this article appears in print on December 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.