Province 3 lawmakers demand budget under Local Infrastructure Development Partnership ProgrammeProvince 3 assembly membersunivocally demanded allocation of budget for the ‘Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme’, a day after the federal government decided to allocate Rs 60 million to federal lawmakers.
A day after the federal government decided to allocate Rs 60 million to the lawmakers while presenting the annual budget, the Province 3 assembly members have also demanded budget under the similar heading.
Speaking at the deliberation on the provincial government’s policy and programme on Thursday, lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties univocally demanded allocation of budget for the ‘Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme’. They have urged the provincial executive to provide at least Rs 30 million under the programme.
“The Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme should be launched for the lawmakers of the provincial assembly as well so that we can also directly take part in development activities. The possibility of the budget being misused will be slim if the budget is provided under certain working procedures,” said Sita Adhikari, a Nepal Communist Party lawmaker. She asked the government to provide the budget through the upcoming annual budget.
The Nepali Congress lawmakers have also demanded the budget under the programme.
“It is the responsibility of the people’s representatives to serve the people. We should also be provided the budget to carry out development projects for the benefit of people,” said NC lawmaker Dipendra Shrestha. He argued that the provincial government should provide at least half of the total budget provided by the central government to its lawmakers under the programme.
Amidst protests from the public and a section of lawmakers against providing the federal lawmakers with the budget, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has increased the budget for the Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme. The federal budget provided a 50 percent hike for the programme-from Rs 40 million to Rs 60 million.
The provincial lawmakers had demanded for a similar budget last year as well, but the demand was rejected. However, the provincial government had provided Rs 10 million each to lawmakers to carry out development projects through consumers’ committee in the last months of the current fiscal year, citing low capital expenditure.
The provincial government has already pledged its commitment to allocate Rs 800 million for development projects selected through an all party meeting from 66 electoral constituencies in the province. The government said the development projects to be run with the said Rs 800 million budget have already been selected.