Local units in Doti set to miss deadline for project selection process, againAll nine local units in Doti district have made no plans—regarding selection of future projects and of budget allocation—for the upcoming fiscal year despite provisions calling for the preparations to be completed by mid May.
All nine local units in Doti district have made no plans—regarding selection of future projects and of budget allocation—for the upcoming fiscal year despite provisions calling for the preparations to be completed by mid May.
Although the local representatives of various local units in the district have been working on budget plans for the last two fiscal years, they haven’t been able to come up with an effective approach towards it. The last two fiscals also saw them finalising projects at the last moment.
Tardiness on the part of the local representatives has raised concerns among the locals. Civil society leader, Ananta Bahadur Kathayat, said that the local representatives in the district have adopted an autonomous approach to work, in that they work in their own best interests. He said. “Preparations are not done on time and projects are selected in a hurry, with an inclination to fulfil the interests of political cadres—instead of addressing the needs of the people.”
Only a few levels have started the project selection process while others have forwarded various reasons for not being able to do so.
Tej Dumre, chief of Sayal Rural Municipality, said that the municipality lacks staff to work on the selection process of projects, while Dirgha Bogati, chief of Purwachauki Rural Municipality, said that they have not been able to summon a meeting of the rural municipality due to technical reasons. Similarly, Bogtan, KI Singh and Jorayal rural municipalities have also not prepared any action plan for the selection of projects in their respective local units.
Siddharaj Sharma, chief of KI Singh Rural Municipality, said that their failure to select the projects was due to delay in arrival of budget cap for the local level. “The budget cap was to be specified till mid April but arrived only towards mid May. This caused the delay in the local level,” said Sharma. Sharma claimed they would complete all the necessary projects on time despite the delay.
Dipayal Singadhi Municipality and Sikhar Municipality have started the selection process by mid May. “We sat down for a meeting with various political parties, intellectuals and civil society members to discuss the policies and programmes for the next fiscal year and prepared a framework. This framework has been forwarded to the local levels,” said Sikhar Municipality chief Sitaram Joshi.
During the last fiscal year, local levels had endorsed projects in the last moment after delay in the selection process. Some levels had completed only the paperworks and had not informed the local units about the endorsed projects.
Dumre said that local representatives were under pressure to deliver daily services to service seekers and plan projects after staff—including office chiefs and ward secretaries in the rural municipality—were transferred. “Three ward secretaries were transferred in a day and there is only one first level non-gazetted officer in the rural municipality,” said Dumre.
Meanwhile in Purwachauki Rural Municipality, ward chairpersons have obstructed the executive meeting over lack of transparency in purchasing vehicles and other equipment for the rural municipality. They have put forth a 19-point demand and said they won’t let the executive meeting take place until they receive a satisfactory answer.