Elected representatives of local govts demand more budget from federal and provincial govts
September 13, 2022 11:00 PM NPT
By: Binod Subedi
BIRATNAGAR, Sept 13: Elected representatives of local governments in Province 1 have demanded the federal government to allocate more budget to the local level governments.
Speaking at Nagarik Sambad 2079 BS program organized by Nepal Republic Media Limited in Biratnagar on Tuesday, elected representatives of various local levels in Province 1 made the demand with the federal government. They complained that the local level governments were not able to work effectively as the budget allocated to them by the federal government is too little to address the desires and aspirations of people at the local level.
Speaking at the event, Mayor of Biratnagar Metropolitan City Nagesh Koirala said the local level governments are yet to fully realize federalism even as the country has been declared as the federal country. He also argued that federalism cannot be strengthened without strengthening the local level government.
While arguing that infrastructure development, agriculture and tourism were the foundation of development, Koirala said that it is necessary to exert pressure on the federal government by forging a main agenda of all local levels. "Since the problems facing the local levels are common in nature it is necessary to address those problems in a collective manner," he said.
Koirala also mentioned that all local levels in Province 1 need to take building Jogbani-Kimathanka road as a common agenda since this road connecting both India and China could be a base for the development and prosperity of Province 1.
Also addressing the function, Duhabi Municipality Mayor Bed Narayan Gachchhadar said the federal government keeps 70 percent revenue with itself and allocates the remaining 30 percent revenue to local governments and provincial governments across the country. He said that local governments have not been able to meet the expectations of people since they receive only about 15 percent of the total revenue of the federal government.
"Now, the federal government should keep only 50 percent of the total revenue of the federal government and allocate the remaining 50 percent revenue to local and provincial governments. Since the arrangement will help local governments to receive 25 percent of the total federal revenue this will make it a lot easier for the local government to carry out development works," he said.
Mayor of Sundar Haraicha Municipality Kedar Prasad Guragain said the municipality had given top priority to the embankment building project since the local rivers cause floods and inundations every monsoon season. He said that his municipality has given priority to build a Ring Road and run a medical college under Purbanchal University. Mayor Guragain complained that the local governments had failed to meet the expectation of the people due to budget constraints.
Mayor of Belbari Municipality Dil Prasad Rai said controlling flood and inundation had been important challenges for Belbari Municipality. Stating that efforts of the municipality alone would not be enough to address the challenge, Rai also asked the provincial and federal government to provide an additional budget to the local government.
Deputy Mayor of Barahchhetra Municipality Nanda Kumari Sunuwar lamented that the tourism infrastructures in her municipality were weak despite immense potential of tourism due to continued apathy on the part of federal and provincial governments. She also drew attention of provincial and federal government to promote tourism in Barahachhetra area. She also mentioned that flood and inundations caused by Saptakoshi had created serious problems in the Baraha Chhetra area.
Chairman of Jahada Rural Municipality Jitendra Sah, Chairman of Dhanpalthank Rural Municipality Jiwachh Gachchhadar, Deputy Mayor of Inaruwa Municipality Binita Kumari Mehata, Deputy Mayor of Urlabari Municipality Mina Kumari Khatiwada had highlighted the problems facing their respective areas. They argued that the needs of local people cannot be met without additional budget from provincial and federal governments.
Chairman of Confederation of Nepali Industries Bhim Ghimire, Chairman of Morang Trade Association Nabin Rijal, Acting Chairman of Morang Industry Association Pradip Murarka and representatives of various banks and financial institutions were present in the event. Director of Nepal Republic Media Shova Gyawali highlighted the objectives of the Nagarik Sambad that Nepal Republic Media Limited intends to organize in all provinces.