21 Tarai districts to get Rs 5 million eachThe local governments in 21 Tarai districts are set to receive Rs5 million each to implement the Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme, an extended form of the Border Area Development Programme formally launched in January 2016.
The local governments in 21 Tarai districts are set to receive Rs5 million each to implement the Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme, an extended form of the Border Area Development Programme formally launched in January 2016.
As per the work procedure prepared by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, each local unit will be responsible for selecting and implementing the projects approved by the ministry.
The government has allocated Rs2.03 billion to implement the programme which will go to the local units as a conditional grant.
The local units have to propose a project with a cost of not less than Rs2.5 million, according to the office of Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme.
The work procedure demands the budget be spent on the development of infrastructures, such as roads, small-scale irrigations, agricultural roads, drinking water facilities, public wells, and public buildings.
The ministry said the draft of the work procedure had been forwarded to the Finance Ministry for approval.
“We have requested the local units of Tarai to wait for the approval of federal government before implementing the projects,” said Devraj Bhandari, section officer at the Office of Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme.
The programme covers all local units of 21 Tarai districts. It’s preceding programme, Border Area Development Programme (BADP), covered only rural municipalities and the municipalities bordering India.
The BADP was announced by the government of Sushil Koirala in the fiscal year 2015-16. It was commenced by the KP Sharma Oli-led government in January 2016.
The programme was aimed at promoting and supporting agricultural growth, social infrastructure development, and capacity enhancement of locals. It was first launched in eight districts with low human development index—Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari of Province 2 that share border with India, before it was expanded to other areas after the fiscal year 2016-17.
The incumbent government from this fiscal year expanded the implementation area to all local units of 21 Tarai districts. With the expansion of coverage area, the government has also increased the budget.
The budget allocation for the programme in the fiscal year 2015-16 was Rs160 million. In the fiscal year 2017-18, the BADP received Rs 1 billion, which was later increased to Rs1.17 billion.
Under the Prosperity Programme, the budget has been increased to Rs2.03 billion. But Tarai-based lawmakers argue that the budget allocation for the programme is still low considering the expanded coverage area.
“This will invite fragmentation of the resources and slower progress,” said Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav, a lawmaker from Bara.
The federal affairs ministry claimed that the projects implemented under BADP performed well.
According to Bhandari, both financial and physical progress of projects under the BADP remained over 90 percent in the last fiscal year.