Kathmandu: The Town Development Fund, with support from the European Union, conducted a two-day training on the ‘Participatory Planning and Budgeting Process’ for officials from local governments and the Fund.
The training session, according to the Fund, was attended by 30 officials from 15 municipalities and seven from the Town Development Fund.
The main objective of the training was to enhance the knowledge and capacity of municipalities’ officials for preparing plans and budgets by ensuring public participants speed up the development activities.
The training focused on developing a common understanding of the planning and budgeting process, improving the effectiveness of service delivery, and ensuring public decision-making on resource allocation is more transparent and participatory. Likewise, the training also focused on how local governments should plan in accordance with the indicators of sustainable development goals, and how they [local governments] can enhance good governance practices at the local level.
“The federal and provincial governments’ acts and regulations provide local governments with budget allocation and implementation guidelines. As local governments have decisive roles in budget planning, allocation, and implementation, their decision accelerates economic and social development, and infrastructure development by ensuring the improvement of public participation in local planning and budgeting,” according to the Fund.
Addressing the training, Krishna Prasad Sapkota, executive director of the Fund, said that Municipal Finance and Capacity Building (MFCB) Program, supported by European Union (EU), could not be completed on time due to several reasons– Covid-19 pandemic and local-level elections. “Lately, programs under the MFCB have been expedited.”
For the MFCB program, 15 local governments have been selected by the Fund. Representatives from the same local governments had participated in the training program.
The MFCB actions are intended to provide technical assistance to enhance the capacity of municipalities on the demand side, as well as enhance the capacity of TDF on the supply side to achieve the long-term impact of contributing to fostering local economic development through blending financing.
Raghu Ram Bista, joint secretary at the Ministry for Federal Affairs and General Administration, said that the local governments should ensure that the public gets services easily. “They should be accountable to the public.”
Similarly, Mim Hamal, program manager at the European Union in Nepal, expressed his happiness over the fact that the programs under MFCB have been expedited.
Likewise, Kapil Dev Gyawali, coordinator of the MFCB, informed about the programs under the MFCB, and how local governments should plan projects under the MFCB program.
Surya Karki, chief of Human Resources at the Fund, said that the newly-elected representatives respect the decisions of the outgoing representatives. “The incoming leadership should continue the projects, and work accordingly. The local governments that have got loans from the federal government should also repay the loan. Delaying the repayment process will hinder the growth of local units as the federal government will deduct the loan amount from the grant amount,” said Karki.