Rs 33-bn budget for local bodies remains unused

Lalitpur, March 26:

About Rs 33 billion development budget allocated for the local bodies is yet to be spent even as there are only four months left for the fiscal year to end.

The situation arose due to the lack of elected representatives in the local bodies as well as lack of secretaries in over 400 VDCs.

The ministry of local development has allocated Rs 25.31 billion for the local bodies in the current fiscal. “Additionally, other ministries including the finance, agriculture, health and education also provide budget for the local bodies,” said Dhruba Prasad Dahal, under-secretary at the Financial Administration Section, MoLD.

“Due to the lack VDC secretaries and representatives, council meetings could not take place, hindering the implementation of the budget,” said another official.

“Many Pahadi-origin VDC secretaries have resigned or displaced from Tarai districts. Nearly 20 VDC secretaries have been attending in the ministry. This will cause serious problem in financial discipline at the local level in the future,” warns another official.

Besides the budget from the MoLD, an additional Rs 7 billion allocated by other ministries for the local bodies is yet to be spent.