Provinces, local units told to apply for special grants by mid-December

Published On: December 4, 2018 03:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

New working procedures pave way for transfer of Rs 20 billion allocated in budget

KATHMANDU, Dec 4: The federal government has sought proposals from local level governments for special and complementary grants within mid-December.

According to the working procedures of these two types of grants for provincial and local levels (rural municipality, municipality, sub-metropolitan city and metropolitan city) brought separately last month, provincial governments and local governments can present their proposals to the Ministry of Finance by Mangshir end (December 15) to get these grants for the current Fiscal Year 2018/19.

However, the deadline for seeking such grants has been fixed as mid-January from next fiscal year.

The special grant is meant for provincial and local governments to execute activities of special nature as well as carry out projects to deliver basic services like education, health and drinking water, and to achieve balanced development of inter-state or inter-local level. This type of grant has also an objective to uplift or develop the class or community discriminated economically, socially or in any other form.

Similarly, the complementary grant that the federal government will hand over to the provinces and local levels to implement any project related to infrastructure development.

The province or local unit that wants to access this grant should share certain percent of resources in the project. According to the working procedure on complementary grant, the federal government will provide only up to 40 percent of the total cost of any project.

The federal government has allocated a total of Rs 20 billion in conditional grants and special grants for provinces and local levels.

However, the government has not been able to transfer those grants allocated in the budget in the lack of working procedures that lay down processes, provisions and conditions of distributing the allocated budget.

According to the working procedure on special grant, the federal government will provide the special grant to a province or local unit for running special education program in areas where there is low literacy rate, basic health care program where there is high child mortality or maternal mortality rate, drinking water project for rural or economically backward groups, and programs to ensure food security among other special projects.

On the other hand, provinces and local units can apply for complementary grants for projects and programs like local, rural and agricultural roads, waterways, irrigation project run by province or local unit by using innovative technology, electricity and transmission project in areas deprived or electricity and model settlement project to implement joint settlement in rural areas and cold storage.

According to the working procedures, a five-member separate committee led by Secretary at the Ministry of Finance will first review the proposals for both grants and select the eligible projects for the grants by mid-March. However, the committee will have to complete the selection of projects by mid-January next year for the current fiscal year.

These grants will not be provided for salary, general or miscellaneous expenses and loan repayment as well as those projects and programs that serves interest of any political party or religious groups, according to the working procedures. These grants will not be provided to projects and programs that make adverse impact in environment. Projects and programs with total cost below Rs 100 million for province and Rs 5 million for local level will not be eligible for special grant. Toward complementary grant, the lower limit for projects and programs has been fixed at Rs 100 million for province and Rs 10 million for local units.

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