National

Over Rs 6b released to local units to implement lawmaker-led projects

  • Rs40million allocated to 164 out of 165 constituencies as conditional grant
- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Jan 13, 2019-

The federal government has released Rs6.56 billion to local units for projects under the controversial Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme, which is implemented under the supervision of the lawmakers.

The budget was released to the local governments except for Parsa-3 after directly elected lawmaker from the constituency Hari Narayan Rauniyar was suspended due to corruption case filed against him, according to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration.  

The federal government has allocated Rs40million each to 164 out of 165 constituencies as conditional grant to implement the projects under the programme. Of the total resources sent to the local levels, an estimated Rs13 million will be spent for administrative procedures, according to the Federal Affairs Ministry.

The programme is a modified version of the controversial Constituency Infrastructure Special Programme (CISP) and Constituency Development Programme (CDP). The two programmes had drawn widespread criticism for their ‘distributive nature’ without tangible results and the selection of projects related to the political parties and their sister organisations as well as non-government organisations related to political parties.

The lawmakers elected under the first-past-the-post system (FPTP) could implement CISP projects of his choice, while the lawmakers elected both under the FPTP and proportional quota could choose CDP projects.

Although the budgetary provision of the current fiscal year sought to make it less distributive by putting limit on the number of projects to be implemented under the programme to five in the areas of road, drinking water, irrigation and river control, a regulation on the programme introduced later allowed to select as many as 20 projects.

Officials at the Federal Affairs Ministry said that such provision was made due to strong pressure from the lawmakers. Now, the lawmakers have selected the projects related to road, drinking water projects, temples, Dharmashala, cemeteries, schools, irrigation projects and solar projects to be implemented under the programme.

A significant number of projects to be implemented in Parsa district under this programme are Dharmasala and temples. Nek Mohamad Ansari, chief of District Coordination Committee, Parsa told the Post that the construction of Dharmasalas has been proposed at Bhediyahi at Birgunj Metropolis, Nagawa, Inaruwa and Laxmipur.

“A solar lamp projects on the road from Padam Road to Bhawanipur has also been proposed,” he said. Likewise, the projects like cemeteries and taps have also been proposed.

According to Ansari, no project has been proposed for the areas under constituency-3 due to suspension of lawmaker Rauniyar, the owner of Pappu Construction which faces charges of occupying a large number of projects without completing them.

As far as Siraha district is concerned, the lawmakers have proposed roads, irrigation and education related projects, according to Ram Chandra Thakur, chief of the District Coordination Committee, Siraha.

In Kalikot, one of the most impoverished districts, mostly roads, schools and small

irrigation projects have been proposed for implementation under this programme. “Implementing infrastructure project here is costly due to remoteness and rough terrain of Kalikot district. So, the budget distributed to different projects may not be enough to do much,” said Anipal Shahi, chief of District Coordination Committee, Kalikot.

Published: 13-01-2019 08:16

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