KHOTANG, June 27: Khotang's five local units have failed to present their annual budgets and programs within the date set by the government, citing different reasons. Of the 10 local units in the district, Barhapokhari, Jantedhunga, Khotehang, Sakela, and Rawabesi rural municipalities have failed to present their budgets and programs for the upcoming fiscal year.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration had forwarded a circular to local units to present their budgets by June 25.
According to the Local Government Operation Act 2017 and Intergovernmental Fiscal Arrangement Act 2017, each local unit should submit the estimates of revenues and expenditures for the next fiscal year within Ashadh 10 of Nepali calendar at the concerned village or municipal assembly. The five local units failed to do so within the deadline.
Pradip Rai, chairman of Khotehang Rural Municipality said, "Lack of preparation and staff due to the adjustment of civil servants has caused the delay. So the budget and program will be presented on July 1." Three wards of Khotehang do not have secretaries.
Similarly, because of the delay in preparing budget plans according to the ceilings set for different wards, the village assembly of Rawabesi has been postponed for July 1. "We had sent budget ceiling to each ward," said Lilanath Niraula, chairman of the rural municipality, adding: “But the presentation of budget plan according to the ceiling has been delayed, and discussions on budget and programs are being held at the moment."
Arjun Khadka, chairman of Sakela Rural Municipality, stated that despite having the preparation of policy and programs along with the budget, he had to leave for Kathmandu to deal with some work at Nepal Electricity Authority, because of which the village assembly has been postponed for July 2.
On the other hand, the date for Jantedhunga Rural Municipality's assembly is not fixed yet. Chief Administrative Officer Chitra Prasad Guragain said that the rural municipality may hold the village assembly next week. "There has been no discussion regarding the budget," Guragain shared, adding: “There might be village assembly on July 5. Though the deadline has expired, we might be able to present the budget within the month."
Likewise, Goma Magar, vice chairman of Barhapokhari Rural Municipality, said it was planning to organize the village assembly on June 30.
Meanwhile, Diktel Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality, Halesi Tuwachung Municipality, Aiselukharka Rural Municipality, Kopilagadhi Rural Municipality and Diprung Chuichumma Rural Municipality had presented the policies and programs with their budgets within the stipulated date.