Local polls cost may cross Rs40b mark

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Mar 6, 2017-

The Home Ministry has decided to scale down its earlier estimate of Rs31 billion that would be required to make security arrangements during the local level elections.

If the proposed funds are approved, the total cost of holding the local polls would be over Rs40 billion, with Rs10.3 billion having been released to the Election Commission (EC). The amount is more than double the expenditures during the second Constituent Assembly elections held in 2013 when Rs16 billion, including Rs4.26 billion by the EC, was spent. The cost was Rs5.15 billion in 2008 when the country held its first CA elections. As much as Rs2.15 billion was spent on security arrangements then.

“We decided to revise down the budget estimates as instructed by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi,” said Bal Krishna Panthi, spokesperson for the ministry.”We will try to reduce the cost of purchasing vehicles and logistics as well as that of maintenance of physical infrastructure for security personnel.”

Earlier, the ministry had sought approval in principle for its budget plan from the Finance Ministry. The government will have to allocate huge amounts of money to pay temporary police recruits. With a planned mobilisation of 75,000 temporary personnel for over two months, the ministry estimates the cost to reach Rs8 billion.

Hefty amounts will go to the purchase of around 1,000 vehicles if friendly nations do not donate them. The ministry wrote to the Foreign Ministry recently to seek vehicles as support from the neighbouring countries for security mobilisation.

For the second CA polls, India had provided 716 vehicles worth about Rs850 million. Since international assistance is likely to remain low for the local elections, officials said the costs would be met from the state coffers.

 

EC to buy logistics from India, China

KATHMANDU: The Election Commission has decided to procure the ballot boxes and ink required for the local level elections from India and stationery items from China. 

After Japan expressed its inability to deliver 30,000 ballot boxes on time due to technical reason, the election body is now considering procuring them directly from an Indian market. The Indian side has already communicated with the EC regarding the rates and location of possible vendors from whom those items can be purchased in India. Similarly, the EC will is going to purchase various types of stationery items from China.

The procurement will be made through direct negotiations upon calling the interested parties to supply the items, according to sources at the poll body. (PR)

Published: 06-03-2017 07:53

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