No budget allocation for local polls in Province 2

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 10, 2017-The allocated election budget may not be enough to hold two major polls—provincial and federal—as some of the amount earmarked for these events is being used for the third phase of local vote in Province 2.

Since the current fiscal budget has not set aside any resource for the September 18 polls, the government is managing expenditure for Province 2 election from the budget allocated for provincial and federal elections. This, according to Finance Ministry officials, has put additional pressure on them on how to manage resources for the two other polls.

The government has allocated Rs35 billion for provincial and federal elections. Finance Ministry officials said Rs3 billion will be transferred from the amount for the local polls.

This will hit the budget allocated for the other elections, said a senior Finance Ministry official. This situation was created after the government delayed the local elections in Province 2 whereas the first two phases were held last fiscal year.

“While preparing the budget we assumed that local polls would be conducted within the past fiscal year,” said the official.

For the local elections, the Finance Ministry has already released Rs1.5 billion to the Election Commission. In addition, the Home Ministry has demanded around Rs1 billion while the Nepal Army has also sought additional budget.

The EC has demanded Rs10.27 billion for holding provincial and federal parliamentary elections which will be held together on November 26 and December 7 in two phases.

“Whether the allocated amount would be enough for holding two major elections depends on how much the security agencies demand for their arrangements.”

For the first two phase of local elections, Rs11 billion had been released for security management. Kewal Prasad Bhandari, chief of the budget division at the Finance Ministry, said since the elections are the state’s commitment, they would manage necessary funds anyway.

Published: 10-09-2017 07:54

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