Development budget being misused

Phidim, February 10

Parliamentarians representing Panchthar district are learnt to have divided the development budget received under Electoral Constituency Development Programme in an unsystematic way.

As per the government provision, each constituency is entitled to Rs 30 million for development work. Sources at the District Development Committee, Panchthar said parliamentarians had divided the budget among themselves to spend on projects of their choice.

The lawmakers have picked projects on whim and distributed budget bypassing the Electoral Constituency Special Programme Management Directive.

"The constituency budget was meant to be spent on development projects on the basis of priority, but parliamentarians divided the budget among themselves to serve their interests," said Local Development Officer Komal Dhamala, adding that most of such projects had entered the contract-signing phase by now.

As for constituency-1, parliamentarian Shree Prasad Jabegu picked on proportional quota and directly-elected parliamentarian Ganesh Kambang have agreed to divide the development fund among themselves after Jabegu voiced dissatisfaction with Kambang's 'unilateral' selection of projects. As per the agreement, Jagebu and Kambang will take Rs 10 million and Rs 20 million, respectively. Kambang is a UML leader while Jabegu of CPN-MC was nominated from the proportional quota.

Earlier, in constituency-2, parliamentarians had distributed the development fund bypassing existing provisions. NC parliamentarian Bhismaraj Angdembe and CPN-Maoist Centre parliamentarian Aindra Sundar Nembang elected from proportional quota had divided the budget among themselves in mutual agreement. While Nembang got Rs 5.7 million, Angdembe kept the remaining fund.

Saptari locals and political party leaders criticised the parliamentarians' reckless act of dividing the budget among themselves.