HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
LALITPUR:The Ministry of Local Development (MoLD) is all set to float proposal to 41 new municipalities again for the next fiscal budget.
The fresh municipalities declared through the current fiscal budget in last July are yet to be recognised as municipalities. Besides, the government also planned to form some more new municipalities, but it was shelv-ed due to disputes among the coalition partners.
“We are ready with the proposals to table them in the government in order to revive the shelved plans,” said Reshmi Raj Pandey, joint-secretary at the MoLD. “It is likely to be included in the fiscal budget incorporating with the federal structure being provisioned in the new statute,” he added.
The government formed a six-member technical team headed by professor Debendra Bahadur Lamichhane on August 5 during the tenure of MoLD Minister Urmila Aryal. The team was supposed to study on the issue and submit a report by September 7.
The government received 83 proposals for new municipals within given deadline. However, the tenure of the committee, which was assigned to divide wards of 41 declared municipals and recommend new municipals, expired in September.
Despite all this, the new minister did not show keen interest on the issue altho-ugh the MoLD prepared documents of ward divisions in 38 out of 41 fresh municipalities to forward the procedure. Ward division of three municipals were obstructed due to dispute at the local level.
The new municipalities declared in the fiscal budget were issued with the VDC budget in December after the government failed to authorise them as municipalities. There are now 58 municipals and 3,915 VDCs in the country. The government declared 41 new municipalities in the fiscal budget. However, it is yet to put a stamp of approval on these fresh municipals.
“The file is still under the government process,” said Pandey, also chief of the Municipal Management Division at the MoLD. “There will be no progress until the government takes any decision,” he added.
Pandey said that minimising the number of VDCs would decrease state cost at the local level, however “we are in favour of making the emerging towns into municipalities for the well planned development activities.”
The Local Self-Governan-ce Act-2055 BS provisions the structure of local bodies with metropolitan city, sub-metropolitan city, municipalities, DDCs and VDCs.