News Digest: Federal Affairs (December 16 – 22, 2021)

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Economy and Development

The government has been able to spend only 6.46 percent capital budget in five months of the current fiscal year 2021/22. This is the lowest capital expenditure compared to the last three fiscal years in the same time duration. The government had able to spend more than 9 percent of its capital budget in the last three fiscal years. But due to the politics and laws barrier the government has spent poor capital budget expenditure said Finance Minister Janardhan Sharma, vice-chair of National Planning Commission Biswanath Paudel, and Finance Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini. 

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has released a study report titled “Local Level Capacity Need Assessment” that the local government has been unable to deliver sufficient services to locals due to a lack of human resources and particularly technical staff. Similarly, the report also showed that around 69 percent of the local government have failed to make the Periodic Development Plans, 63 percent of local governments have failed to make Master Plans., and 95 percent failed to submit their annual programs and policies. While 29.73 percent of local governments do not review their budget. 

The coalition government of Province 1 will implement the budget only after reviewing it. While Province 1 government will be targeted to complete reviewing the budget within mid-January and will implement it from mid-February. The coalition government also decided to revoke all appointments and decisions of the previous government. Similarly, the provincial government has also set the target to expend 90 percent of the budget this current fiscal year. 

According to the Provincial Financial Comptroller Office, Sudurpaschim Province has spent only 7.68 percent capital budget and 4.51 percent recurrent budget in five months of the current fiscal year. 

The federal government has put 20 conditions for the provincial and local government when implementing the complementary grant and special grant in the upcoming fiscal year 2022/23. According to the federal rule, the provincial and local governments have to complete within three years. Similarly, as per the rule, the provincial government can demand Nrs. 200 million, metropolitan city and the sub-metropolitan city can demand Nrs. 50 to 250 million, and Municipality and Rural Municipality can demand Nrs. 10 to 100 million. 

On December 20, the cabinet meeting of Province 1 decided to set up the Provincial Constituency Development Program. According to the program, the Member of Provincial Parliament can choose/decide the development program for their constituency area. 

Administration Issues 

On December 15, a Member of the Provincial Parliament has registered an Exploration and Innovation foundation Bill, 2078 BS in the Karnali Provincial Assembly secretariat to make separate laws to promote and develop science and technology. The purpose of the bill is to support the prosperous society, manpower production, innovation of new things, and development in the science and the technology sector. 

The administration works and development activities in Bagmati Province have been hampered by the shortage of staff. It created a difficult situation when Bagmati Chief Minister Rajendra Prasad Pandey split eight ministries into 14. However, the shortages of staff were exciting before split ministries and there were more shortages of staff when split ministries. 

Food security 

Seven districts (Dailekh, Kaliko, Jajarkot, Humla, Jumla, Dolpa, and Mugu) in Karnali Province has been facing a food crisis when the company is unable to import sufficient foodstuff. As per the demand the company had to import 40,000 quintals of foodstuff while being able to import only 3,970 quintals so far. The company is ignoring imports of the foodstuff due to the expensive transportation cost.

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