Constituency programmes set to resume in a month

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The Ministry of Federal Affairs has ordered all District Offices to stop programmes until new lawmakers are sworn in

Feb 13, 2018-The controversial Constituency Infrastructure Special Programme (CISP) and Constituency Development Programme (CDP) that were stopped following a Supreme Court order last month will resume once lawmakers officially assume office. 

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has asked all the District Technical Offices (DTO) to stop the programmes until new lawmakers are sworn in. 

However, both the programmes could commence within a month as new Parliament is expected to be functional by then. 

The Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had faced mounting criticism for its decision to continue with the programmes though there were no parliamentarians. 

Issuing a directive on Monday the ministry said, “All the DTOs have been directed to stop the programmes as per the SC order until newly-elected parliamentarians are sworn in.’

A division bench of SC Justices Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada and Sharada Prasad Ghimire on January 14 had issued the interim order to the government to suspend both the programmes, halting disbursement of around Rs10 billion to 240 retired lawmakers.

Jhapat Bahadur Rawal, member-elect for federal parliament from Kailali-2, had filed a writ petition at the SC on January 8 demanding a halt to the programmes. Rawal argued that the government would suffer irreparable losses if the court did not issue an interim order at a time the 240 constituencies are being redrawn into 165.

The “caretaker” government had decided to continue with the programmes as suggested by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs on December 28. On December 31, the ministry had issued a letter to all the district technical offices to implement both the programmes despite the Election Commission’s notice to cancel the projects. Though both the projects are meant to be selected and implemented by the lawmakers, MoFALD has argued that it is not necessary for the House to exist as no law bars projects' implemention within a year since their commissioning.

The EC asked the government on October 30 to cancel all the projects under the CISP and the CDP, saying that the retired lawmakers cannot carry out programmes meant for incumbent MPs.

Of Rs10 billion allocated under the two programmes, Rs30 million was released to each constituency for projects under the CISP and Rs 5 million to each of the lawmakers to implement projects under the CDP.

Published: 13-02-2018 07:56

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