KATHMANDU, June 12: The Development Committee under the Legislature-Parliament has directed the Ministry of Finance and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to open a branch of an ‘A-class’ commercial bank in every local level.
A meeting of the committee convened at the committee secretariat at Singha Durbar issued the directive after complaints were voiced in the meeting that it has become difficult even to open a bank account as not all the local levels have banks.
According to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, only 392 out of 744 local levels have banks.
The committee today held discussions with the elected mayors as well as the stakeholders concerned of three metropolitan cities on topics as bringing uniformity in the works to be carried out by the local level, resources, expenditure and employee management, the progress made so far and the problems seen in the initial phase.
Likewise, the committee has issued directives to the government to manage the required expenditure to get the works, duties and responsibilities constitutionally assigned to the local level done. It has also directed the government to arrange for training for the capacity development of the local level and appoint employees based on clear criteria.
Committee president Rabindra Adhikari urged the government, the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development to prepare the outline of the common rights of the centre, province and local level as stipulated by the constitution.
Lawmakers Ganesh Singh Thagunna, Sita Giri, Mohan Baniya, Anita Devkota and Guru Prasad Burlakoti called for making sure that there are adequate employees, resources and funds in the local level.
Chief Secretary Dr. Som Lal Subedi stressed that the local levels should build the capacity to implement the rights that are given them and cautioned that based on the experience from other countries some of their rights might be taken by other levels if they are not properly implemented.
He said before the development plans had to pass through 14 steps and now this has come down to seven steps after the formation of the local level.
Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said the Ministry has issued a decree for the operation of local level as the parliament has not yet passed the Local Governance Act.
He said the plan formulation at the local level will start from June 20 and they will present the budget on July 10.
Secretary Thapaliya also said that they will send the Good Governance and Integrity Promotion Strategy to all the local levels before July 9.
Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said the budget has been transferred to the local level as the local level will now have to carry out the works done by 13 bodies before.
“The local level would have a consolidated fund as the local level itself is the local government. Arrangements would be made to open a branch of ‘A-class’ commercial bank at all levels and bank accounts would be opened there,” he said.
Secretary at the Ministry of General Administration Mohan Krishna Sapkota said the Ministry was preparing to depute employees at all levels as per the requirement.
Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Bidya Sundar Shakya, mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City Chiri Babu Maharjan and mayor of Pokhara-Lekhnath Metropolitan City Man Bahadur GC stressed on the need of passing the Act at the earliest to facilitate the works of the local level. RSS