Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The perils of big budget to VDCs

This is an isolated case occurring in a Village Development Committee (VDC) in Morang, Nepal. The left-wing Finance Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai doubled VDC budget in this year’s fiscal budget.This increased trouble in one particular VDC because armed outfits also doubled the amount of money (forced/compulsory donation!) they used to demand from local government.

"There was no sense of security in the villages since long," said Murari Ghimire, Chairman of VDC Secretary Rights Protection Centre. "And the bigger budget means we are sure to be targeted by many underground outfits for donations. They are the same people asking for certain portion of the VDC budget in the past too."

With the government's new budget plan for the current fiscal year, each VDC in Morang will get from 1.5 million to 3 million rupees.

Members of the armed outfits, who used to demand "donations" in three-four digits earlier, have already begun asking "donations" in six digits following the government decision, according to the VDC secretaries.

"Big budget means hope for developmental works and thus a matter of happiness for many," said Hari Pokharel, secretary of Rangeli VDC. "But it has become more tension and terror for us."

More here.