KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Local Development (MoLD) has planned to

formulate policies empowering the local bodies for appointing

the Village Development Committee secretaries.

“We’re discussing so as to

formulate necessary policies to

allow the local level for appointing the VDC secretaries on the basis

of merit,” said Dinesh Kumar

Thapaliya, spokesman for the MoLD. “This must be approved by the Cabinet.”

Thapaliya said that people had been deprived of getting government facilities at the first step due to the absence of VDC secretaries in many districts. “People should feel presence of the government in the local bodies as per the decentralisation policy,” he said.

According to the MoLD, 1,134 VDCs are running without secretaries. More than 500 posts of

secretaries were vacant and

equal others left the job after

golden handshake recently.

Consequently, people are facing problems for getting recommendation for citizenship certificate, birth/death registration, and many others. There are 3,915 VDCs across the nation.

There are only 29 VDC secretaries in Saptari district where 114 VDCs exist. Similarly, 28 VDC secretaries are at their duties in Taplejung which has 50 VDCs.

The government has completely failed to ensure priority in

the local governance, according

to Bhim Prasad Dhungana,

general secretary, Village Development Committee Federation. “More than one third of the

VDCs of the country do not have secretaries,” he said.

“It’s time to initiate development projects of the current fiscal year,” Thapaliya said, adding, “And also, the social security allowances such as elderly and widow allowance should be distributed before Dashain.”