Extra funds sought for ferrying ballot boxes

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 5, 2017-

The Home Ministry has sought additional budget for transporting ballot boxes to the district headquarters from the polling centres for the second phase of federal and provincial elections saying that the available funds cannot meet the expenses.

“After many chief district officers complained of inadequacy of funds for the delivery of ballot boxes, we are seeking additional budget from the Finance Ministry,” said Narayan Prasad Sharma Duwadi, spokesperson for the Home Ministry. “There have been talks with the Finance Ministry on the matter.”

An official from the Finance Ministry confirmed the demand for additional budget. The amount was yet to be specified. Ballot boxes need to be transported to the district headquarters from 15,344 polling centres after the second-phase vote, according to the EC.

More than Rs9 billion has already been released to the Home Ministry for the security arrangements. Of that amount, over Rs5 billion is for recruiting temporary police. The government is mobilising over 98,000 temporary police personnel. The government is deploying 272,000 security personnel for the vote scheduled for December 7.

An additional budget requirement is expected for security arrangements amid growing incidents of bomb blast ahead of Thursday’s polls. But Home Ministry officials said they are yet to quote extra funds for security.

“We are working with the available budget. We may ask for more funds if required,” said Duwadi.

Polls are taking place in 45 districts in the second phase to elect 128 lawmakers for the House of Representatives and 256 members of the provincial assemblies.

Published: 05-12-2017 07:25

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