Confusion over spending local level budget

Dhangadi, January 14

Local representatives of Doti have voiced their concerns about confusion on spending the allocated budget citing lack of clear policy for running the local level.

The lack of clarity is further driving a wedge between local representatives and government staffers.

The local representatives of the district voiced their concerns at an interaction programme organised by far-west Media Development Centre in Dipayal today.

“We are ward chairperson in name only as our job is just to sign recommendations. We don’t have the authority to spend the allocated budget and have to approach the town chief and executive officer to get the fund released,” lamented Birendra Shah, Ward No 4 chairperson of Dipayal-Silgadi Municipality, who demanded a clear policy.

KI Singh Rural Municipality Chairperson Lokendra Shahi also dwelt on the difficulty in budget allocation due to lack of technical knowledge among local representatives in areas such as agriculture, health and education. “As the new people’s representatives don’t have technical knowledge, the same has been a major handicap in our attempt to bring effective plans,” he said. “We have a total of five health-related units but as the representatives lack technical know-how of how much budget to allocate for buying medicines, we don’t know whether the amount earmarked for the purchase of drugs will be enough for the year,” he said.

The staffers working in the health sector, on the other hand, have accused the elected representatives of undermining their role. “They (representatives) don’t listen to us. In my case, I had proposed two million rupees for the purchase of medicines, but the representatives allocated just half that amount, which doesn’t add up,” said Tej Bikram Shahi, town health coordinator of the Dipayal-Silgadi Municipality, adding, “Even if staffers have been assigned to different tasks, the assignments is not scientific.”

On his part, Federation of Nepali Journalists, Province 7, provincial coordinator Min Bam stressed the need for local representatives and staffers to cooperate with each other for  development of the local level.