Govt loosens purse strings for VDCs

Kathmandu, October 23:

The Ministry of Local Development (MoLD) is preparing guidelines, which will enable Village Development Committees to spend funds ranging from Rs 1.5 to Rs 3 million.

The government has put village development committees into six categories for this purpose and plans to release budget for the VDCs through District Development Committees concerned.

The budget for the fiscal year 2008-09 had come up with this arrangement.

The MoLD has prepared a list of the VDCs and submitted it to the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance will authorise local bodies to use allotted funds through District Development Committees concerned.

Surya Nath Koirala, under-secretary at the Local Bodies’ Grant Unit, said the guidelines will be circulated to VDCs once the cabinet approves of the proposed document.

According to him, the cabinet is expected to approve of the guidelines in a week.

He said the guidelines are needed as local bodies are without people’s representatives and budget for local bodies has been increased this year.

According to the local development ministry, while preparing the list, 60 per cent weightage was given to population, 30 per cent to cost and 10 per cent to the geographical location of each VDC.

The VDC, which has a high population density, will get a larger sum. VDCs lying in remote regions will also get more funds.

While each of 606 VDCs will receive a grant of Rs 1.5 million, 80 will receive Rs 1.76 million each. Rs 1.95 million will go to each of 1,704 VDCs. Similarly, 1060 VDCs stand to receive Rs 2.15 million each, 394 will get Rs 2.45 million, while 71 will receive Rs 3 million each in grant.