KATHMANDU, Aug 8: The Indian Embassy has provided grants for execution of small projects across the country worth Rs 10.85 billion in 14 years since the inception of Small Development Project (SDP) in 2003.
The small projects, 514 in all, include roads, bridges, school buildings, health centers, among others. Total 289 projects worth Rs 4.14 billion have already been completed. The rest 225 projects worth Rs 6.70 billion are under construction, according to officials of the embassy.
The officials claimed that the projects of 13 types cover all parts of Nepal. The numbers of completed projects in the hilly and Tarai regions are 56 and 96 respectively, whereas 24 projects have been completed in the mountainous region.
Likewise, the number of ongoing projects in the hilly, Tarai and mountainous regions are 111,100 and 29 respectively.
The latest renewed memorandum of understanding signed between Nepal and India for SDP expired on August 5. The MoU was renewed every three years.
In a correspondence with the embassy on the matter, the government of Nepal has however said that they needed broader discussion on executing similar projects hereafter in the new federal set up.
The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development told the embassy that they wanted detailed discourse with Government of India on implementing fresh small projects under SDP.
An official of the Ministry of Local Development informed that they have yet to come up with a clear picture of institutional arrangement and fixing role of local and federal units before starting to execute those projects.
This new set up has been created after recent local level elections. However, the ongoing projects are being implemented as they are.
The embassy officials have said that they are open for further discussion to implement those projects as per the demand of local people for development projects. Embassy officials have said that the proposals for such projects which generally come from local political leaders, bureaucrats and civil society members are collected directly at the embassy and executed with the permission of the government agencies.
Like the development projects of the Government of Nepal, some projects in the Tarai region have seen delays and problems of the contract management, according to embassy officials.
Some officials of the Government of Nepal however said that implementing such small projects directly with the local and federal level is almost impossible hereafter because the constitution has clearly stated only central government can decide on receiving foreign assistance and grants.