The Ministry of Local Development has set aside money for more than a dozen similar projects that are driven by party interest.
Rs. 7.6 million have been set aside for the Nepali Congress this year to construct buildings and memorials in the name of several deceased party leaders in 10 districts, including Rs 800,000 allocated for the construction of the Girija Prasad Koirala Memorial Foundation in Taplejung. When Narayan Kaji Shrestha was the Minister for Local Development he had allocated almost Rs.10 million for several organisations, clubs and foundations affiliated to CPN (Maoist).
Last year, the party spent Rs. 1 million for the construction of a martyrs’ foundation building and used the fund to build the party leaning Radio Bahini’s building.
According to an official at the ministry, the trend of misusing the budget for party purposes has increased in the last five years. The projects are determined by the minister’s private secretariat instead of local governing bodies in the village, town and districts.
Dinesh Thapaliya, spokesperson at the ministry admits that there have been complaints over the misuse of local development budget by the political parties.