Nepal Today

Wednesday, July 3, 2013



Kathmandu, 4 July: The five-member constituency delineation commission is
holding consultations with lawyers Thursday.
The commission which has to delineate 240 electoral constituencies for
the 19 November polls consulted demographers, geographers and
other professionals Wednesday after first holding dialogue with
representatives of political parties.
The commission will prepare recommendations on the basis of its
discussions with representatives of society.

Kathmandu, 4 July: Election commission has set aside 197 election  
symbols for the 19 November assembly vote.
It has added 31 more symbols, the commission said Wednesday..
Altogether 139 parties have applied for permission to contest the
November polls.
The commission is extending a deadline to register for the election

Kathmandu, 4 July: The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development is planning to cut development grants given to the hills to provide the same to the
Tarai region, Bishnu Prasad Aryal writes in The Himalayan Times..

According to the national census 2011, the Tarai belt, smaller in area, constitutes more than half of the total population of the country (50.2 per cent) followed by the hill and mountain belts that constitute about 42.8 per cent and seven per cent of the total population, respectively.

“The remote hill and Himalayan regions, where poverty-stricken, marginalised and underprivileged people live, will be affected if the government’s plan to slash development grants is implemented,” said Dinesh Chandra Devkota, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission. “It will be an irrational move as marginalised people living in hills like Karnali region will be affected.”

The ministry is preparing to change the rules provisioned in the Local Bodies Resource Mobilisation and Management Guideline 2069 BS under the influence of minister for local development, Madhes-based parties and Unified CPN-Maoist, confidential sources at the ministry told The Himalayan Times. “This is a plan to spend more development budget in Tarai by cutting grants given to the hilly and Himalayan regions,” they said. “The government is planning to include this programme in the coming fiscal budget and programmes are being prepared for the coming year.”

THT’s repeated attempts to contact Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Bidhyadhar Mallik went in vain. He neither picked up his phone nor responded to emails.

The government allocates about Rs 45 billion for the MoFALD every year. Of the total allocation, about 70 per cent is spent on development activities and people-oriented programmes while rest is set aside for administrative purposes, according to the MoFALD.

Development grants are allocated as per provisions enshrined in the rules and regulations. Highly placed sources at the ministry told this daily that the plan was being chalked out with more focus on Tarai region in the name of population distribution.

Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, Spokesperson for the MoFALD, conceded that the ministry was working to amend the rules. “This rule can be revised every two years,” Thapaliya said. “We can concentrate on densely populated areas while distributing grants,” he added.

The proposed plan will revise the existing system and send more budget to Tarai-based districts. Out of the total allocated capital expenditure, 50 per cent will be distributed on the basis of formula-based grants and remaining as per minimum conditions grants, according to the Local Bodies Fiscal Commission Secretariat.

Each of the 3,913 village development committees used to get Rs 1.5 million to Rs 3 million as grants while each of the 75 district development committees used to get grants on the basis of performance.

The performance-based grants to the local bodies will be reduced as per the new rule, which means each VDC will get only Rs 1.5 million and each DDC Rs 4 million


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