Local units scattering budget on small projects: Ministry reportA team from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration visited Uttargaya Rural Municipality and Gosainkunda Rural Municipality in Rasuwa district to monitor their performance in December last year.
A team from the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration visited Uttargaya Rural Municipality and Gosainkunda Rural Municipality in Rasuwa district to monitor their performance in December last year.
The team, led by Under-secretary Mahendra Kumar Sapkota, found that the elected representatives of the municipalities had been taking fuel allowance without setting an amount limit.
“We could not tell whether they were receiving the fuel allowance as per the normal requirement. The two municipalities had been distributing fuel allowance to the staff without setting any standard,” an official at the ministry told the Post.
While the employees of Uttargaya and Gosainkunda rural municipalities were enjoying fuel allowance in an arbitrary manner, the local units themselves were struggling with low capital expenditure and lack of laws to govern their everyday affairs.
When the ministry finally released its report after monitoring 17 local units across the country, it became evident that the Uttargaya and Gosainkunda rural municipalities were not alone when it came to the elected representatives drawing allowances under various headings while failing to perform their jobs effectively.
Besides Rasuwa, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration had monitored the local units in Tanahun, Gorkha, Lamjung, Humla, Kanchanpur, Kaski, Parbat, Baglung, Bara, Mahottari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Kavre and Sindhupalchok districts.
The ministry’s report found that most of the local units were scattering their budget on small projects and little efforts were being made towards increasing revenue.
The local units also scored average marks on transparency front, according to the report.
Though a lot of irregularities have been reported in a number of local units, the ministry’s team did not find any major problems in financial discipline.
The report says some local governments have been conducting inspection and monitoring as part of internal control system.
“Controlling account and log book have been arranged to stop misuse of cash receipts,” the report says. “They have used accounting system as designed by the central government and have controlled advance payments.”
The team also found that the elected representatives made only partial use of information technology, did not abide the code of coduct and seldom shared decisions of local governments with the public.
The report had a few positives though. For instance, the ministry’s team found sound management of waste by Simikot Rural Municipality in Humla district. The local unit had partnered with a neighbouring rural municipality to keep the area clean.
“Since Simikot is visited by many Indian tourists on their way to the Manasarovar pilgrimage, the local government is trying to keep the place clean and orderly to encourage tourism,” said Under-secretary Indra Kumari Thapaliya.
Wards 3 and 4 of Simikor Rural Municipality were also found using online technology to manage social security allowance scheme.