Panel on Jatras makes little progress

Kathmandu, November 5:

The high-level committee formed by the government to study traditional Newari festivals and recommend measures for the proper management of different Newari festivals has not been able to propose the budget required for it to carry out the task assigned to it even as one month has already passed since the committee was formed.

The government had formed the panel to recommend measures for proper management of Guthis, Jatras and festivals of the Newar community within three months.

“We will submit the budget proposal to the ministry within this week” said Pabitra Bajracharya, coordinator of the committee, adding that they would propose for a budget of around Rs 7.6 million.

“The panel consisting of 19 members will spend the money in hiring experts and setting up its office,” he said.

“We were unable to submit the budget proposal during the festive season. We are late by a month,” Bajracharya said, adding that the committee was planning to ask the government to extend its deadline by one month.

“We agree that we have made little progress in our work. But we have already begun informal

meetings with the stakeholders concerned,” he said.

Jwala Krishna Shrestha, joint secretary at the Ministry of Culture and State Restructuring, said the committee’s work had not taken pace because of the reluctance of the members of the panel.

“We would have already approved the budget by forwarding it to the Finance Ministry, had they presented the proposal on time,” he said.

The government was forced to form the panel following widespread demonstrations against

the government’s bid to cut budget for different cultural events.