Pokhara, January 21
Six months into the current fiscal year, and not even 20 per cent of the development budget has been spent in 16 districts of the western region.
At this rate, many projects are sure to be left in the lurch in these districts.
At the half-yearly review meeting held in the Lake City, LDOs of the western region and executive officers from municipalities attributed the earthquake and blockade at the border points for lack of budget utilisation.
Many of the districts have failed to spend even ten per cent of the allocated budget.
Mustang LDO Hari Prasad Bastola said the DDC had failed to utilise the budget due to unfavourable weather, lack of manpower, and blockade.
Syangja’s LDO Mahesh Bhattarai blamed the increasing political influence over projects for the same.
Kaski LDO Ramchandra Tiwari said that small projects should be discouraged and removed. He added that projects designed by DDC should not be of less than 0.5 million from now onwards.
Gorkha LDO Prem Giri said that they were having a tough time working from the squeezed office space after the April 25 earthquake.
At the programme, Pokhara Sub-metropolitan Office Executive Officer Jhalakram Adhikary said that human resource management and residence development directive were major problems facing the Lake City.
Adhikary urged the Local Development Ministry to settle policy level problems between Pokhara Valley Municipal Development Committee and the sub-metropolitan city.
Minister for Local Development and Federal Affairs Kamal Thapa, however, expressed hope that DDCs could reach their goals by the end of the current fiscal.
Stating that the Local Development Ministry has been spending Rs 80 billion every year, Thapa directed the employees to be transparent and responsible.
Secretary Madhav Prasad Regmi at the Ministry of Local Development directed them to increase the development expenditure.
He urged the VDC secretaries and other government employees to go to the field themselves and work on increasing efficiency of the development projects.
A version of this article appears in print on January 22, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.