GORKHA, Oct 1: It has been three months since the officials working under the provincial government received their salaries. Without formulating any policies, programs and budget, Gandaki Province set up several offices in Gorkha. However, it is having great difficulties managing them.
This has left the officials worried, thinking that they might not have even a single penny to spend for Dashain. It has been a headache especially for the office chiefs who are tired of answering their staffers. "When will we get our salaries?" is the question that the chiefs are compelled to answer repeatedly.
"We are yet to receive any budget. Maybe it's taking time because we just entered a new structure," said Durga Prasad Pandit, chief of Krishi Gyan Kendra, Gorkha. Since the beginning of the current fiscal year, 14 officials working at this office have not received their salaries. "Dashain is just around the corner and we have bought nothing for our families yet," complained an official.
Officials working at the Forest Division, Irrigation, Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Center formed by the provincial government are deprived of their salaries.
Earlier, salaries and allowance of staffers were received by the district-based offices. However, after the formation of the provincial government, the federal government sends budget to the province, which should later be distributed to the district based authorities. Even after so many months, ministries of the province are yet to formulate plans, programs and sanction budget.
This is the reason why most of the employees at the provincial offices are compelled to spend their days doing nothing. There was a time when these offices used to be crowded with service seekers but that has changed now. These days, other than the officials, no one else is seen in the office. Staffers come to the offices just to mark their attendance.
The Office of the Comptroller General authorizes the Provincial Comptroller Office to pay salaries to the employees at the provincial offices. But there is no Provincial Comptroller Office at present. Employees at the provincial offices will receive their salaries only when they will receive their programs but so far, they have no idea what programs they will be assigned.
Meanwhile, Gandaki Province has blamed the federal government for not providing the budget and program on time. While speaking at public functions, members of the provincial assembly often accuse the federal government of obstructing them when they try to do everything quick and fast.
Minister for Land Management, Agriculture and Co-operatives, Lekh Bahadur Thapa said that preparations are underway to distribute salaries to the officials. "We could not distribute salaries due to some technical problems as it has not been that long since we entered the new system," said Thapa, adding, "We will make sure that they receive their salaries before Dashain."