RAJBIRAJ, Aug 28: Five rural municipalities of Saptari district are likely to lose federal grants after failing to hold their respective council meetings and unveil budget as required by the Local Government Operation Act 2017. The delinquent rural municipalities are Tirahut, Balanbihul, Mahadeva, Chhinnamasta and Rajgadh rural municipalities.
Legally, each local body needed to hold council meeting and unveil budget by July 10. Last year, the aforementioned local bodies had held council meeting only in mid-January.
As they failed to hold the mandatory meeting and sanction the budget, the elected representatives and civil servants of those rural municipalities were accused of corruption for their spendings were illegal.
Internal disputes among the representatives are said to be the reason behind their failure to hold the council meetings. The local units' representatives however say they have already started internal preparations to hold the meetings.
None of the local bodies in the district could bring their budgets within the July 10 deadline.
The federal government had sought clarification from the delinquent local units. After this a few held their council meetings, but five have yet to do so.
According to the law, local bodies that fail to hold council meetings and bring budget cannot collect taxes.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration had issued a circular to the Fiscal Commission not to release the federal grants to the delinquent local units.
Federal government allocates grants to local bodies under four titles—fiscal equalization grant, conditional grant and complementary grant and special grant.