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MoFALD crackdown on unlawful municipalities

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) is all set to direct the unauthorised 41 fresh municipalities to stop collecting taxes from the public.

The 41 municipalities declared in the last fiscal year programme are yet to be recognised due to the unwillingness of the government and dispute among the coalition partners. Although they continue to exist as VDCs, they have been collecting taxes in the name of different heads including the Land Revenue Office, from the public as per municipal rules, according to the MoFALD sources.

“We have decided to stop those unauthorised municipalities collecting the municipal taxes from public,” said Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary in the MoFALD.

“We will issue formal letters to those municipals soon and urge these bodies to invest the already collected amount in the infrastructure development activities at the local level,” Shrestha added.

The government had announced 41 fresh municipalities in July 2011. There are now 58 authorised municipals across the country.

The MoFALD forwarded the files of 38 out of 41 fresh municipalities to the Cabinet about a year ago for approval but to no avail. The 41 newly decla-red municipals are Shan-karapur (Kathmandu), Karya Binayak and Champapur (Lalitpur), Taplejung (Taplejung), Fidim (Panchthar), Birtamod (Jhapa), Urlabari (Mora-ng), Myanglung (Terha-thum), Bhojpur (Bhojpur), Diktel (Khotang), Katari (Udayapur), Kanchanpur, Rupnagar and Mohanpur Kalyanpur (Sunsari), Dha-nushadham and Sankh-uwa Mahendranagar (Dh-anusha), Nigaul-Gaushala (Mahottari), Manthali (Ra-mechhap), Harion (Sarlahi), Chandranigahapur (Rautahat) and Jitpur.

The Local Self-Governance Act-2055 BS provides for the structure of local bodies as metropolitan city, sub-metropolitan city, municipalities, DDCs and VDCs if they fulfill certain criteria.

According to the Act, to be a municipal, the population must be 20,000, must have proper education and health services, Rs 1.5 million internal

income, transportation access of road or airlines and telephone services.

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