Govt still receives over 100 applications a day for politically motivated programs
KATHMANDU, July 6: Though the Ministry of Finance has already closed budget negotiations with different ministries, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Works and Transport Management (MoPPWTM) and the Department of Roads (DoR) are still receiving at least a hundred applications every day from political leaders and locals demanding budget for roads and bridges to be implemented at the local level.
“We have received at least 15,000 applications since December last year demanding budget mainly for roads and bridges in the coming fiscal. More than 14,000 of those applications are for local roads,” Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at MoPPWTM, told Republica on Thursday.
According to Sitaula, for the past couple of weeks MoPPWTM has been dealing with at least 100 applications a day demanding that their programs be forwarded to the National Planning Commission (NPC) -- the apex policy-making body of the government -- for implementation through district development committees (DDCs). Normally, DDCs formulate budget and prioritize the programs, including roads and bridges, at the local level.
Though the applications for budget for local programs started arriving in December last year, the number has been increasing as the budget announcement draws closer.
“As most of the people coming to us want to avoid the DDC´s process of implementing programs, they are frequenting MoPPWTM directly to put their programs under NPC,” said Sitaula. He said more than 80 percent of the applications are registered by people with political affiliations who are putting pressure on the government to implement the programs that serve their political interests rather than the people´s needs.
Last year also, 15,000 applications were registered at the ministry. Of them, 4,000 applications for construction of roads and bridges were approved and allocated Rs 500 million. However, only 2,500 programs had achieved their targeted implementation. “As implementation of the programs is not satisfactory, we are not recommending any such programs for the coming fiscal year,” said Sitaula.