CDP funds being misused to build party buildingThe District Council of Panchthar has decided to provide funds from the Constituency Development Programme (CDP) to build an office building for the ruling CPN-UML in violation of its directive.
The District Council of Panchthar has decided to provide funds from the Constituency Development Programme (CDP) to build an office building for the ruling CPN-UML in violation of its directive.
The budget allocation intended for the development of Constituency No 1 in the district has been planned to be spent on building the Pushpa Lal, Madan Ashrit Memorial Building.
The money which should be spent on infrastructure projects in the constituency has been usurped for the party’s pet project through a non-existent institution. The District Council has set aside Rs3.5 million out of the Rs15 million budget allocation to construct the building.
According to the CDP directive, the District Council needs to get the recommendation of the Area Council before allocating funds for any project, but this provision has been violated.
The District Council has decided to bankroll the construction of the memorial building as per the wish of lawmaker Ganesh Kambang. There had been a dispute when the project was proposed for funding, but the council decided to provide the money regardless.
Local Development Officer Komal Prasad Dhamala admitted that the UML’s pet project had been selected as per the request of the concerned lawmaker although it had not been recommended by the Area Council.
As per the CDP directive, the budget allocated under it cannot be spent for political parties, their sister organizations and non-government organizations (NGOs). The other major political parties have remained silent as it will set a precedent allowing them to get funding for their own pet projects in the future.
President of the Federation of Non-Government Organizations, Panchthar Bal Krishna Ojha said that he was surprised by the decision of the council as the funds were being used for a party project.
District secretary of the UML Tiwendra Raj Chapagain said that the Pushpa Lal Madan Ashrit Memorial Academy was in the process of being registered, and the budget would be spent under the organization. He said that the building would be constructed after land had been arranged.
According to Chapagain, the land made available by former UML lawmaker Basanta Kumar Nembang at Phidim-1 was not suitable because it was on a slope. Nembang had recently announced giving his land to the party.
Meanwhile, district president of the UML Raj Kumar Bhandari, who was involved in selecting the project, claimed that he was unaware about the budget allocation for the party’s pet project.