The federal government has selected 221 local levels for operation of programmes under the 'Local Level Administrative Building Infrastructure Development Programme Operating Procedure, 2021'.

The procedure aims to deliver services to citizens in a more effective manner through development and construction of physical infrastructure necessary for local governments. This programme is being carried out with the cost participation of the federal and local governments.

A rural municipality has to contribute at least 40 per cent of the total cost, municipality at least 50 per cent and sub-metropolitan city at least 60 per cent depending on inland revenue capacity and availability of physical infrastructure at the local level.

According to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, 221 local levels have been provided with budget ranging from Rs 1.8 million to Rs 12 million each for the current fiscal year on the basis of proposals submitted by them. The local levels are required to submit a proposal to the Department of Local Infrastructure for construction of administrative building. The Department prioritises the programme on the basis of proposals received from the local levels and submits them to a six-member steering committee headed by the chief of Planning and Development Assistance Division at the MoFAGA for approval.

"The amount to be borne by the Government of Nepal shall be 60 per cent for the rural municipality, 50 per cent for the municipality and 40 per cent for the sub-metropolis as cost participation.

However, the government may provide additional grants to the rural municipalities and municipalities of remote areas, which are at the bottom of the Human Development Index. The local levels need to arrange land on their own for project development," the procedure reads.

Once the project is approved, the local level concerned has to prepare a detailed project report to reflect local art and culture. The local level may also obtain necessary consultancy service while preparing the DPR.

Similarly, the local levels are required to bear the deficit amount for construction of the administrative building if the budget allocated by the government is not sufficient for completion of the project.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.