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Question of sustainability

By Our Reporter
The government has again added the number of local units. From the earlier 744 local units, now 22 new local units have been introduced in the Tarai districts by upgrading two sub metropolis cities Biratnagar and Birgunj to the metropolis cities and also upgrading 22 rural municipalities to municipalities. The total number of the local units has reached 766. In an effort to bring the Rastriya Janata Party, an unified body of six Tarai based political party, in the second phase of local elections, the government took such a decision. Can the nation financially sustain such a large number of local units, it is a burning question. The government has decided to pay monthly salary to the chief, deputy chief and ward chairmen of the local units. According to an estimate, the government should pay three billion rupees as salary of these representatives of the local units. Besides, there will be above 60 government officials headed by senior officers such as CEO in the municipalities. As per the present mechanism, a municipality will be headed by an under-secretary along with 60 other or more government officers. This will also increase the operational costs. As the government cannot meet the total expenditure, the local units will have to raise funds by imposing and increasing the existing tax on the local residents. In this way, every time, when we take service from the local units, we have to pay more tax. Locals are happy from the upgrading of their villages to the municipality level, but they are not aware that even to construct a house, they should get a map for the construction by paying more charges. To obtain a marriage certificate, it is said that one should pay three thousand rupees, which is a big amount for the people in remote areas. Many of the remote areas, having no motor able roads have also been upgraded to municipality levels, from which, the local people will be facing additional tax burden. The political leaders and locals have not thought about this side of the populist decision.
Against the law: The government decision to increase the number of local units is against the present constitution. On the eve of the second phase of local election, the government has taken such a vital decision. This is also against the election code of conduct.

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