Kathmandu, May 20
The Finance Committee today presented its pre-budget 2019-20 discussion proposal in the House of Representatives meeting, stating that the upcoming budget should address existing and upcoming problems of the three tiers of government in the country.
The proposal was presented after holding a month-long discussions with representatives from different sectors in all seven provinces. “There may be disputes between two provinces or two local levels over the use of natural resources. The upcoming budget should address such issues,” reads the proposal.
Chair of the panel Krishna Prasad Dahal said they held-11 discussion programmes in all seven provinces in April-May to draft the proposal. The committee employed 61 questioners and collected answers from 563 people. It had held discussion programmes in Jhapa, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Birgunj, Hetauda, Dhangadi, Surkhet, Nepalgunj, Butwal, Pokhara and Kathmandu.
Rights of the central, provincial and local levels bodies should be clearly defined, according to the proposal. “An organisation and management survey should be carried out in provinces to effectively manage required human resources,” the proposal read.
The proposal recommended identifying a game changer project in every province and its implementation.
The proposal was prepared by three sub-committees. A seven-member sub-committee led by Nepali Congress lawmaker and former finance minister Gynendra Bahadur Karki was deputed to the eastern part of the country, while a 10-member sub-committee led by ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmaker Surendra Pandey was deputed to the western part of country to collect suggestions from concerned stakeholders and people.
The monitoring sub-committee to discuss the full budget was led by committee Chair Krishna Prasad Dahal. Other members of the sub-committees were former prime minister and finance minister Babu Ram Bhattarai and Mahantha Thakur respectively, former deputy-prime minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, former finance minister Bishnu Paudel and NC lawmaker Shashanka Koirala.
The proposal recommended that there should be a special grant for those provinces which lag behind on economic and human development index. “A clear guideline should be developed for project management to avoid duplication of projects by provinces and local governments,” the proposal read. “The federal budget should be allocated considering geography, human resources, and development needs of provinces.”
Locally available skill and technology should be prioritised for development work, recommended the proposal. The sub-committees also monitored national priorities projects. It collected written and oral suggestions from people.
The sub-committees collected suggestions on priorities of budget, investment area, and reconstruction of infrastructure destroyed by the 2015 earthquakes. They also sought suggestion from people on the relation between central, province and local levels. The sub-committees collected suggestions from chief ministers and lawmakers from the centre and provinces.
A version of this article appears in print on May 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.