Monitoring budget implementation at local level begins

Kathmandu, May 13:

The Ministry of Local Development has begun monitoring the implementation of the annual budget and programmes allocated to the local bodies.

It has formed four teams, headed by joint-secretaries, to monitor the implementation of the budget in five development regions of the country.

“A team led by Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya has already left for Nepalgunj. It will monitor the programmes implemented by the local bodies in mid-western and far-western development regions,” an MoLD official said.

Likewise, a team led by Bishnu Nath Sharma left for Biratnagar yesterday.

It will monitor the annual programmes of local bodies in the eastern development region.

Only 20 per cent of the total budget allocated to the ministry to run programmes at the local level has been spent in the last nine months. The implementation of programmes and development activities at the local level have been severely hit by the absence of elected representatives in the local bodies, according to the MoLD.

The ministry had allocated Rs 25.31 billion for the current fiscal year, apart from grants from other

ministries and donor agencies, for local bodies.

Of the allocated budget, only Rs 2.01 billion on capital expenditure and Rs 2.75 billion on regular expenses have been spent so far. The fiscal year ends in mid-July and programmes worth more than Rs 20 billion are yet to be implemented.

“We are worried about the implementation of the allocated budget, as the fiscal year will end within two months,” Sharma said, before leaving for the eastern region.

“We will see whether the budget has reached to the villages or not. I have heard that some of the districts, including Rautahat and Mahottari, are yet to hold the council meetings to approve its budget and programmes,” he added.

While Krishna Prasad Devkota-led team will monitor the implementation of budget in the central development region, the team led by Som Lal Subedi will monitor it in the western development region.

“The four teams will complete their task by May 18,” Khanal added.

There are 3,915 VDCs, 58 municipalities and 75 district development committees in the country.

Each VDC has been allocated Rs 2 to 3 million for local development, according to the ministry.