21 officials to get boot for misusing local funds

KATHMANDU, AUG 24 – The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development is preparing to suspend 21 civil servants working in Dhanusha and some VDCs in the district for misusing funds.

The ministry has said action will be taken against officiating district engineer Binod Thakur, seven technicians, five officials of the District Development Committee and nine VDC secretaries for misspending around 300 million of budget allocated for local bodies.

A high-level monitoring team led by Federal Affairs and Local Development Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha had inspected the district following complaints that large amounts of local budget was gobbled up in collusion.

Later, the ministry had sought clarification from officials concerned who admitted their mistakes and reached a conclusion to take action based on their answers. “The accused involved in misusing the local funds will be suspended shortly and further action will be taken after the investigation,” said a ministry source.

Ministry Spokesperson Dinesh Thapaliya said a circular has been issued for action after observing rampant irregularity in spending development budget. “Local bodies are found to have misused large sum of funds allocated for social security protection scheme and development,” said Thapaliya. During the inspection the team also found that development infrastructure were not constructed as per the estimation and the DDC and VDCs miused budget in the name of same projects.

Last week, a team led by the minister had inspected Siraha, Dhanusha and Mahottari and concluded that irregularity was rampant in Dhanusha as compared to other inspected districts. Other officials in the team were Secretary Sheetal Babu Regmi, Joint-secretary Shiva Bahadur Rayamajhi and Director General of the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agriculture Road, Bhupendra Bahadur Basnet.

It was found that Rs 160 million budget allocated under the social security protection scheme was distributed in advance payment, while around Rs 230 million was allocated in advance payment in the last fiscal year was not recovered even in this year.Ekantipur

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