Local unit officials participating in the PMEP program in Gorkha Municipality./ Narahari Sapkota/ Republica
GORKHA, June 25: The much-hyped Prime Minister Employment Program (PMEP) has failed to make an impact in Gorkha district. While many local units are just focused on finishing the allocated budget, the program has not even started in some remote areas.
Chumnubri and Dharche rural municipalities of district, which shares its border with Tibet, have not even started the program. Bhimsen Shrestha, chief administration officer of Chumnubri Rural Municipality, said that the program has not been started because of unavailability of employment coordinator in the local unit.
"There is lack of staff here. Employment coordinators have been appointed in other local units, but not in our rural municipality," Shrestha said. "This year, we were not able to start the program."
"Because of being a remote area, implementation of the program is difficult here than in other places," he added.
In Dharche Rural Municipality, although applications have been received from unemployed youth, the program is yet to start.
"Employment coordinator has not been sent to our rural municipality as well," said Santosh Gurung, chairman of the rural municipality. "But we are preparing to start the program anyway."
Meanwhile, the local units in more accessible and low-altitude areas have started the program. From the past one week, chiefs of the local units have been busy inaugurating the program in their respective units.
In the low-altitude areas, youths have applied for the employment program mainly for the purpose of getting sustenance allowance.
"Many of them thought that they would get money without working," said Rajan Raj Panta, mayor of Gorkha Municipality. "In some places, there are only 2-3 of the applicants who actually wanted to work."
"As the government brought the program late into the fiscal year, we did not have enough time to find the targeted youth population who would be interested in working," he said.
He said that this year, youths will be mobilized in all 14 wards of the municipality for different types of work.
While 200 youths participated in the program from the two municipalities of the district, a total 150 participated from the rural municipalities.
Purna Bahadur Dahal, chairman of Arughat Rural Municipality, said the participating youths have been employed to construct a public resting place.
Other local units have engaged them in constructing public resting places, toilets, temples, and canals. All the local units have asked the youths to work rapidly so that the allocated budget could be used up by mid-July.