Guideline aims to uplift living standards

Kathmandu, December 13

The government has enacted Border Development Programme Operation Guideline to improve the position of the Tarai settlements in Human Development Index and reduce the poverty rate by increasing people’s access to public services and improving their living standards.

The main objectives of the guideline are to invest the resources in priority sectors of the local levels, make budget allocation and expenditure process simple and transparent, empower the target group, achieve maximum output from the available resources and bring about uniformity in the implementation of programmes.

As per the guideline, grants shall be provided to the local levels for the construction and maintenance of road infrastructures, irrigation, drinking water supply and sanitation, agricultural development, energy, community infrastructures, environment protection, capacity development and health.

The guideline has set the criteria for providing grants. “Population, poverty and area shall be taken as the basis while providing grants. Population shall carry the weightage mark of 60 per cent, poverty 30 per cent and area 10 per cent,” it reads.   While selecting the project for the construction of infrastructure, rural municipality shall not be allowed to estimate a budget less than Rs 800,000. The minimum amount fixed for municipality is one million rupees. “The local levels shall accord priority to projects sustainable in nature as far as possible. The concerned local level may set aside two per cent of the total investment as contingency amount which shall be spent for the purpose of project management.

The capital fund to be obtained under the project and programme shall not be permitted to be spent in remuneration, meeting and travel allowance, vehicle maintenance, fuel, house rent, electricity, water, telephone and donation, among others.

The guideline envisions a six-member Programme Facilitation Committee headed by chief of District Coordination Committee to facilitate and assist the local levels in implementing the development project in an effective manner. The committee shall also be responsible for maintaining inter-agency coordination, monitoring project activities and reviewing progress and extending necessary support in selection of the project.

There shall also be a Programme Implementation and Monitoring Committee led by chief of municipality or rural municipality to facilitate the implementation of the project at the local level. The districts selected for the project are Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusa, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur.