DHANGADHI, Feb 25: Lawmakers of Sudurpaschim Province have accused the government of being biased and overstepping law while selecting developmental projects.
Last year, the Provincial Assembly had passed a bill and subsequently formulated a law under good governance which necessitates going through a certain process for the selection of developmental projects. However, even after a year of such law coming into force, the lack of its implementation has become apparent, the lawmakers stated.
Those who have charged the government of 'not being lawful' about the project selection include not just the lawmakers of the opposition party but also the ruling party. The government had listed dozens of developmental projects while announcing the annual budget in the last three years but the lawmakers are not happy with the projects prioritized by the government.
"A year has passed since the law of the good government was endorsed by the assembly. The law clearly states that the government should select developmental projects through certain process. However, what's happening now is an utter violation of the same law," said Rana Bahadur Rawal, lawmaker from the Nepali Congress. "You make the law, but don't implement it. This gives a very negative message," he added.
According to Rawal, the government is not working transparently but is involved in secret dealings. He added that government's activity is akin to using a window to enter a house when there is a door.
Lawmaker from the ruling party Purna Joshi stated that the good governance law was formulated with great enthusiasm but the same spirit is not seen when it comes to its implementation. There are several other laws which are yet to be followed.
"There are many other laws which have not been followed. This has indeed affected good governance and developmental process," she said. "When the government fails to follow the due process, several aspects of development gets affected. Selection and monitoring of the projects cannot be done properly. We have been raising strong voice for the implantation of the laws," she added.
Another lawmaker from the ruling NCP Liladhar Bhatta sought satisfactory answer from the government regarding why the law of good governance could not be implemented even in one year.
"One year is enough to make guidelines and bring the law into implementation. Now, the government should answer why it has failed to do so even in a year," Bhatta said, adding that the government has however chosen to remain silent over the issue.
According to the good governance law, it is mandatory to select development projects by majority of lawmakers and the budget should be released through bank to maintain transparency. The law also has a provision to allocate budget only for the projects that go through all the due processes.
Meanwhile, Jhapat Bohora, minister for internal affairs and planning of Sudur Paschimi Province stated that the government shall select developmental projects in a fair manner.
The provincial assembly has formulated 33 laws in the past two years. And implementing those laws may take some time, Bohora said.
"For instance, we do have Civil Service Act, but there are a few things that are not clear. Only after the federal government endorses some guidelines, we can go ahead with the law," he said, adding, "We are for giving proper shape to federalism and speeding up developmental process."