DTOs told to follow SC order on CDPs

Kathmandu, February 13

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to all district technical offices, directing them to act on the interim order of the Supreme Court regarding the constituency development programme.

On January 14, a division bench of justices Sharada Prasad Ghimire and Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada had stayed the government’s decision to spend up to Rs 10 billion under constituency development programme and constituency infrastructure programme, and ordered that ‘no such programme other than those approved before October 14, 2017 shall be operated until newly elected members of the federal Parliament took oath of office and secrecy and assume office’.

The circular issued by Rural Development Coordination Section of the MoFALD reads, “We request all the DTOs to do and cause others to do as per the interim order of the SC regarding the operation of constituency development programme.”

The Election Commission had stopped implementation of the constituency development programmes on October 29, stating that their continuation would violate the election code of conduct.

The government has already enforced the Constituency Development Programme (Operation Procedure, seventh amendment) Regulation to permit lawmakers, both elected and nominated, to carry out development programmes. The petitioner also argued that since people had elected new representatives they should have the authority to spend on development programmes in constituencies and not others.

The programmes that may be selected for implementation include river, gorge and landslide control and irrigation; construction and upgradation of roads; water supply, sanitation, waste management and construction of landfill site; project concerning school, library and sports; biodiversity and environmental protection; renewable energy, micro hydropower and electrification; construction of health post, maternity home, community building, old age home, orphanage, rehabilitation centre and agri-product collection centre; and income generating and skill training programmes.

“No member of the Parliament shall use the amount for his private purpose, provide it to political parties and their sister organisations, and distribute it to non-governmental organisations and persons,” states the law.