MoLD asks local bodies to augment income by 15 pc
KATHMANDU, SEP 10 -
The Ministry of Local Development ( MoLD ) has asked its subordinate offices to increase their income by 15 percent in the current fiscal year. Seriously concerned about the fall in revenue collection, the MoLD has decided not to provide rebates to local bodies on their internal revenue.
Revenue collection has decreased significantly in local bodies in recent years due to the absence of elected people’s representatives, the political parties’ monopoly and rebates. MoLD statistics show local revenue, which stood at Rs 5.58 billion in the fiscal year 2006-2007, fell to Rs 4.572 billion in 2009-2010. The ministry has decided to cut down the local budget for the respective District Development Committees (DDC) and Village Development Committees (VDC) if they fail to meet the target.
The revenue protection initiative will be enforced in all DDCs, municipalities and VDCs with an annual revenue of more than Rs 2 million. The MoLD issued a directive to this effect to the national evaluation workshop of local development officers, chief district engineers and executive chiefs of municipalities held in the Capital a week ago.
“The workshop has also endorsed an 11-point commitment by the respective officers to maintain transparency in local bodies,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Development Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
Through the workshop, the ministry also issued strong directives not to start any development project without a survey, design and budget estimation.
The initiative was taken as local leaders have been distributing the development budget in their areas without assessing the need. Shrestha said that the Kathmandu University has agreed to provide technical volunteers to carryout the surveys for a short period. The ministry has also started consultation with other universities for additional volunteers.
Shrestha also forwarded an ambitious plan to establish material testing labs in all districts to ensure quality in developmental projects. The Department of Local Infrastructure, Development and Agricultural Roads has been tasked to come up with a detailed plan for the labs in three months. “We are planning to adopt the policy of reward and punishment in all bodies under the ministry,” said Shrestha.
Stating that the lack of a provision to transfer lower level officials from local bodies had also promoted irregularties, Shrestha informed that the MoLD is planning to amend existing provisions to open the transfer. From the current fiscal year, no DDC or VDC that has not cleared 60 percent arrears of the last fiscal year, will get an advance budget. They will have to clear 80 percent arrears from the next fiscal year.
Posted on: 2012-09-10 08:17