Nutrition project budget about to freeze


A budget of 42 million rupees allocated to Community Action for Nutrition Project (Sunaulo Hazar Din) is about to freeze because of the delay in its release in Rautahat.

Greed of commission among local government employees is said to be the reason behind the delay. Federal Affairs and Local Development Ministry had launched the nutrition project with financial assistance from World Bank in the district two years ago.

Subash Thakur, focal person at Sunaulo Hazar Din programme at the DDC, has been accused of seeking commission from ward groups when the latter approached him for release of the budget.

Women affiliated to the ward groups were irked after Thakur, along with secretaries from the VDCs where the project was launched, sought Rs 10,000 each from every group.

The programme was launched with the aim of providing nutrition to pregnant women from the day they conceive until their child reaches two years. It covers women and children from poor as well as marginalised communities. The project is expected to be helpful in reducing child and maternity malnutrition.

The nutrition programme was launched in 12 VDCs, including Banjaraha, Bishrampur, Bramhapuri, fatuwa, Maheshpur, Gamhariya, Parsa, Inarwari, Laxmipur, Belbichhawa, Madanpur, Mithuawa, Pipariya, Pipara, and Bhagawanpur since October of 2012.

This year, groups have been selected in 12 more VDCs. A budget to the tune of 42 million rupees is certain to freeze due to the non-release of the fund. Reluctance on the part of the DDC to release the budget is likely to affect the programme in the newly added VDCs.

A source at the DDC account section said only the first installment has been released till date. World Bank and Nepal government have contributed 60 and 40 per cent to the programme respectively.

Women groups yesterday staged a demonstration in front of DDC to protest the non-release of the budget.

Gamhariya resident Rinku Kumari Thakur said that her group was denied the budget after they refused to give Rs 10,000 to Thakur and the VDC secretary.

Thakur, however, refuted the allegation that he had sought commission. He blamed the VDC’s negligence and apathy for the delay in budget release. “Since a single VDC secretary has to take charge of up to four VDCs, the programme has hit a snag,” Thakur said.

Acting LDO Mitra Prasad Bhattarai pledged a probe.