Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Decentralising corruption, Kantipur

Local administrations have become a hotbed of corruption and are being held hiostage by the all-party mechanism. Local representatives of the three parties control the planning, budget allocation and financial operation at the village, district and municipal levels. In the absence of local elections, which were last held in 1999, there is a complete lack of accountability.

Instead of consulting people, plans are dictated by the parties who distribute the projects among one another and the share the benefits. Last year in Lalitpur more than 100 urban planning projects were divided among the three main parties. Local Development Minister, Top Bahadur Rayamajhi is not happy with the workings of the all-party mechanism and agrees: "It has done more harm than good."

In Bhaktapur, local leaders have violated existing laws and regulations while fixing tax rates for land sales. Last year, Rs 1.5 million was distributed in Bhairawa among parties, their sister organisations and NGOs of questionable repute. In Dadeldhura, the UML's Birendra Shahi has openly admitted to pocketing projects up to Rs 20 million.

Funds allocated for development projects are mostly hijacked and embezzled by corrupt political appointees because of which majority of them remain incomplete. A few months back, villagers in Kavre pelted stones at DDC staff and local politicians accusing them of sidetracking the district's development budget. regularities. "We had hoped local bodies would help devolve power but all they seemed to have done is decentralised corruption," ex-secretary Khemraj Nepal said.

1. Dwarika N. Dhungel
The corruption is bound to happen, when you ask some body to carry a load which s/he is not supposed to carry. The  solution to the problem is to get the local elections conducted as soon as possible. I am curious to know whether minister Raymajhi  has the courage to get the local election conducted as per the Local Self Governance Act 1999.   

2. Divas B Basnyat
I completely agree with Dr Dhungel. While I do not in any way condone corruption, decentralizing corruption is better than centralizing it. Also decisions (including financial- payments to contractors etc)  should be made at the ward, VDC and district level not at the MOF, NPC, Ministry (central) level. BUT we need elected members not selected like now running the show. LOCAL PEOPLE (voters) will reward and punish the local leaders according to their performance. This will also lead to all senior leaders of all parties remaining at their constituencies  without having to come to Kathmandu. When major parties share the pie and there is no opposition, we can have nothing but corruption. There are three ways to do the trick.. 1. Election 2. Election and 3. Election at local level.   Honest implementation of LSGP 1999 is the best strategy for now.

3. neeranjan rajbhandari

To be realistic we should always think of minimizing curruption and not the total control. This may sound radicle, but this is the time to take radicle measures:

The only way to minimize curruption it to decentralize the power further and close to the people at VDC level.

Dismantle DDC and all district level offfices and decentralize it further to VDC or whatever is there or will be there at the lowest unit of governance. Dismantle all regional offices and move departments out side Kathmandu to major cities and towns across Nepal

50% of the revenue and human resources of GoN should go directly to the lowest unit of governance i.e 37,000 VDCs or or custer of 2/3 VDCs in Nepal

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)