Provincial government, local bodies clash over revenue sharing

Pokhara, October 4

Conflict has surfaced between the provincial government and local bodies in Gandaki Province.

The conflict emerged due to the erstwhile provision that required local levels to post revenue collected from sources under the common jurisdiction of the two entities in the saving fund of the province.

Citing reluctance of local bodies to post revenue to the province, Financial Affairs Ministry of the province has freezed development grants of some of the local bodies.According to the ministry’s Financial Management Division Chief Niran Bhattarai, Tanahun’s Byas and Shukla Gandaki municipalities, Gorkha’s Palungtar Municipality and Nawalpur’s Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality were yet to post revenue. “Local bodies didn’t post revenue due to lack of cooperation from the provincial government,” said Municipality Association Gandaki Coordinator Dipakbabu Kandel .

Local Level Operation Act stipulated that local levels and provincial government would have common jurisdiction on natural resources such as gravel, sand and boulders. While the local level could keep 60 per cent of the revenue, the remaining share of the revenue was supposed to be posted to the province, as per the act. But the act was amended by the federal Parliament at the end of the last fiscal.

As per the amended act local levels were no longer required to submit part of their revenue generated from natural resources to the province. The local bodies are now reluctant to post revenue to the province citing the amendment. The province, however, has maintained that the local levels must submit part of their revenue generated in last fiscal.