Two Local Levels In Sudurpaschim Delay in Budget Presentation
As per the Local Level Operation Act 2017, it is mandatory for local levels to present their annual budget along with policies and programs by June 25 each year. However, two local levels in the Far West Province have failed to meet this requirement. Shailyashikhar Municipality in Darchula District and Thalara Rural Municipality in Bajhang District, among the 88 local levels in Sudurpaschim Province, have not yet presented their budget for the financial year 2023/024. This delay is attributed to internal disputes and conflicts between the people’s representatives and employees.
According to Satyaraj Singh, the representative of INSEC Bajhang, Thalara Rural Municipality is one of the 12 local levels in the district that has not been able to finalize its annual budget even by the deadline of June 25th. In Thalara Rural Municipality, the budget presentation was hindered by a dispute between the village chairperson, vice chairperson, and chief administrative officer with the ward chairperson. Village chairperson Prakash Rokaya stated that the budget could not be prepared due to disagreements between the chief administrative officer and the ward presidents. He mentioned that the budget presentation was delayed after the ward president lodged a complaint about the indecent behavior of the administrative officer. An executive meeting was called to discuss this issue. The Chief Administrative Officer of Thalara Rural Municipality, Sidwaraj Pandit, stated that no decision had been made regarding the budget presentation date, and the disagreement between the people’s representatives and ward chairpersons caused the delay. Pandit clarified that he and the ward chairperson were in mutual agreement, and their understanding did not hinder the budget preparation. However, Vice President Ram Bahadur Khati of the Rural Municipality stated that the budget presentation was halted after the ward chairperson demanded the allocation of all budgets to the respective wards.
Narendra Singh Karki, the representative of INSEC Darchula, reported that Shailyashikhar Municipality was also unable to present its budget for the upcoming financial year 023/024. The Chief Administrative Officer of Shailyashikhar Municipality, Surendra Bahadur Bista, explained that the budget could not be prepared within the given timeframe due to a lack of consensus among the people’s representatives. Bista mentioned that the disagreement revolved around whether the budget should include payments for previous obligations. Deputy Head Shanti Khadayat of Shailyashikhar Municipality stated that there was no agreement reached after a proposal was made to allocate the remaining funds from the previous government. The lack of coordination regarding the budget presentation in the Municipal Assembly further added to the delay. Khadayat highlighted concerns about allocating funds for past expenses, as it would limit the implementation of new programs in the upcoming financial year. Consequently, all executive members suggested postponing the budget presentation and focusing on further preparations.
Efforts are underway to conduct more thorough assessments and preparations before finalizing the budget in both municipalities.
INSEC Sudhurpaschim, Dhangadi
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