Ministers blame dev model for dismal progress in projects

Published On: February 6, 2017 12:40 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Feb 6: Ministers in the government have pointed to flaws in the development model of the country for the poor implementation of development projects.

Speaking in parliament on Sunday, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ramesh Lekhak, Information and Communications Minister Surendra Karki and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Pandey stressed the need for revising the development model if development projects are to see effective implementation.

Responding to lawmakers' concerns over an evaluation report on the implementation status of the parliamentary Development Committee's directives, the ministers stated their commitment to implementing those directives. 

“At a time when our two neighbors are going for ambitious development plans, we don't have a unique development strategy of our own and our development models are full of flaws,” said Minister Karki. 

Minister Lekhak, for his part, said his ministry is working to increase its capital expenditure to up to 80 percent by the end of the fiscal year. “We have so far seen only 20 percent capital expenditure and we are planning to increase this to 80 percent by the end of this fiscal year,” he said. He also blamed the lengthy bidding procedures for delay in implementing the development budget. 

Minister Pandey said the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development plans to improve software at all municipalities across the country to complete bidding procedures fast-track. “In previous years, the implementation status of the development budget was dismal due to delay in the budget announcement, but with the constitution now fixing the date for budget announcement this problem will be solved in the days to come,” he said. 

Tabling the committee report in parliament, Chairman of the Development Committee Rabindra Adhikari stressed the need for parliamentary debate on the development projects of the country. Highlighting the poor implementation status shown by the report, Adhikari drew the attention of the government to take the committee's directives seriously. 

“The government's accountability to parliament can be ensured only if it implements the parliamentary committee reports,” he said. 

Major directives of the committee that are yet to be implemented concern roads linking with China, mega infrastructure projects, the postal highway, upgrading of the telecommunications sector and post offices, among others. 

The development committee has included in its report more than three dozen of its directives which have not been implemented so far. 

Altogether 17 of these  directives were issued to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, 7 to the Local Development and Federal Affairs Ministry, 9 to the Ministry of Information and Communication and 8 to the three ministries jointly.

Taking part in the deliberations on the committee report, CPN-UML lawmaker Keshav Badal said the government's indifference towards House committee directiveis was worrisome. 

Nepali Congress lawmaker Rajendra KC said that the country's model of development was becoming ineffective CPN (Maoist Center) lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said government instability was a major factor behind poor implementation of development projects. 

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