Centre to fund local governments
- Federal Affairs Ministry will bear up to 70 percent of the cost for constructing offices
The ministry plans to use funds available in the District Development Fund that was under the erstwhile District Development Committees
Sep 20, 2018-The federal government will provide funds up to 70 percent of the cost to construct administrative office buildings for local governments.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration will share up to 70 percent of the construction of offices for local governments that either lack them or currently function from rented buildings.
Since the federal government has not allocated separate budget for this, the ministry plans to use funds available in the District Development Fund that was under the erstwhile District Development Committees (DDCs).
Tax revenue received by the DDCs is the source of DDF resources. This fund remains dormant since the start of three-tier system of governance.
Ministry Spokesperson Suresh Adhikari said, “The amount is around Rs22 billion. Initially, this fund would be used to construct the buildings for local governments.”
The ministry has fixed the maximum amount local government can spend to construct office buildings.
“The ministry can provide maximum 70 percent of the cost to the rural municipalities,” Adhikari said.
Almost half the number of local governments needs new office buildings.
The ministry has prepared a working procedure by fixing the maximum cost required to build administrative buildings for municipalities, rural municipalities and their wards.
As per the procedure, a maximum of Rs150 million could be spent to construct an office building for a Metropolitan City and Rs50 million for a rural municipality.
Based on the category of local units, different costs have been proposed. A maximum of Rs15 million could be spent to construct a ward office building of municipality, and maximum Rs10 million for rural municipality.
“We have sent the draft to the Finance Ministry for approval,” said Adhikari. “After taking the Finance Ministry’s opinion, the draft would be sent to the Cabinet for approval.”
According to the ministry, around 350 out of the 753 local governments require new office buildings to do their routine administrative work. However, the ministry does not have data on how many local bodies have their own buildings and how many operate from rented buildings.
Local governments with own buildings further need additional capacity to accommodate goods and human resources, the ministry official said.
Among local governments, the newly created municipalities are in greater need of new office buildings because they arrived as larger entities with additional staff compared to the erstwhile Village Development Committees.
Last year too, the Ministry of Federal Affairs Ministry had drafted a proposal seeking resources for new office buildings for all the local governments and 80 percent of their wards.
The proposal envisaged constructing 6,303 buildings at an estimated cost of Rs163.31 billion. That proposal gathered dust in the ministry.
Local body Max cost
Rural Municipality Rs50m
Municipality Ward Rs15m
Rural Municipality Ward Rs10m
*Construction cost of office buildings for local governments.
Source: Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration
Published: 20-09-2018 08:01