Youth and Sports Minister Maheshwor Jung Gahatraj argued that it was imperative to allocate budget by taking into account the sentiments of demography and its jurisdiction.

At the annual review meeting (fiscal year 2020-21) of the Ministry of Youth and Sports today, Minister Gahatraj said the ministry represented the biggest portion of the country's demography. He asserted that budget should be allocated accordingly.

"The government has been allocating 0.16 per cent of the total annual budget to the Ministry of Youth and Sports," he said.

Minister Gahatraj said, "Nobody should back off or shrug off our duties on the pretext of COVID-19. We should work in such a manner that each youth should build a sense of belongingness with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. We should facilitate the youth in a way that they are further motivated to move ahead."

The minister stressed the need to adopt approaches such as integration and decentralisation for some national pride projects related to youth and sports. He also instructed the authorities concerned to put into place policies and laws in a bid to clear arrears in government agencies. The ministry recorded over 4 billion arrears in the last fiscal. Of the arrears, only over Rs 220 million (6.10 per cent) was cleared.

Similarly, National Planning Commission member Umashanker Prasad echoed Minister Gahatraj and urged the authorities concerned to pay special attention for clearance of arrears. He also pointed out the need to stave off the tendency to perform or deliver beyond targets and goals.

Likewise, Secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Population Damodar Regmi pledged to emphasise purity, discipline and effectiveness in the subordinate agencies. "The agencies such as National Sports Council should be accountable to the ministry.

The ministry said that financial handover was done to 140 local levels in a bid to build sports ground in their locality.

Likewise, National Sports Council's Vice-chair Shiva Prasad Koirala opined that tendency to allocate and approve budget for programmes and plans based on political faith should be dumped.

Representatives from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission recommended that the ministry take into account formulation of programme within the limitation of the budget, effective monitoring of the projects and appropriate use of the public expenditure, among others.

A version of this article appears in the print on November 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.