Finance Ministry okays pay for local representativesThe Finance Ministry has given its nod to the remuneration for elected people’s representatives at the local level proposed in the Bill on Service, Condition and Facilities.
The Finance Ministry has given its nod to the remuneration for elected people’s representatives at the local level proposed in the Bill on Service, Condition and Facilities.
The ministry was initially reluctant to approve the amounts citing additional financial burden to the government.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development had written to the Finance Ministry on May 16, two days after the first round of local elections was held, seeking the latter’s opinion on the proposal.
The finance minister’s decision on September 20 had asked for a revision in some of the proposed amounts. It had asked the MoFALD to reduce the pay for the chiefs and deputy chiefs of metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities by Rs5,000 from the proposed amount. The Finance Ministry also suggested increasing the pay for ward chairpersons by up to Rs4,000.
Remuneration for the coordinator of District Coordination Committee and its deputy coordinator was also increased.
In the case of DCC members, a monthly remuneration of Rs25,000 has been suggested provided that they take up executive roles.
Kewal Prasad Bhandari, chief of the budget division at the Finance Ministry, said they had made it clear that the remuneration should be paid from local resources.
“The local units can set the remuneration based on their own resources,” he said. “We have told the Local Development Ministry that the local units cannot use the budget transferred from the central government to remuneration for elected representatives.”
For the current fiscal year, the government has allocated a total of Rs225 billion for
the local federal units. One third of the budget has already been transferred to the local level.
The Finance Ministry said the local units could also set allowances for foreign visits, insurance and communication, among others, by taking their own resources into consideration and the Regulation on Trips introduced by the federal government.
With the government delaying its decision, a large number of local units had started fixing the remuneration and facilities for their representatives. As the tenure of Parliament ends on October 21, it is unsure when the proposed bill will be tabled in the House.
“We will send the bill to the Cabinet shortly for approval,” said MoFALD Spokesman Rudra Singh Tamang.