11-17 April 2014 #702

Aid directive

Karobar, 10 April

Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudel has directed all the secretaries to make provisions to restrict foreign assistance to income generating medium and large- scale projects that provide direct employment. He has instructed secretaries to end the practice of accepting foreign assistance for smaller projects that take up too much of government’s time and extra resources on documentation, report writing and hiring consultants.

“Monitoring and evaluating smaller projects running on foreign assistance puts extra financial burden on the government and when resources are scattered the quality isn’t always consistent,” Poudel says in an 11-point directive, also issued to the National Planning Commission, the Prime Minister, and Finance Minister.

He has also directed line ministries not to hire international consultants unless in need of a specialised skillset. Even if local consultants are hired, the concerned ministries need to limit their number.

“This is the first time we have received a written directive from the Chief Secretary regarding issues of foreign assistance,” says Finance Secretary Shantaraj Subedi.

Poudel has also instructed secretaries to fine advisers or consultants who do not perform on time, or if there is negligence, even after the project completion.

Chief Secretary Poudel also addressed the problems related to the Public Procurement Act and amend them to help mobilise foreign assistance effectively.