April 15: Members of Parliament have agreed to provide the budget allocated for the local infrastructure development partnership programmes under the Parliamentary Constituency Development Fund to the fund established by the government for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus.
The infrastructure development partnership programmes fall under the constituencies of the House of Representatives members in different provinces. The members on Tuesday agreed to hand over the budget to the Coronavirus Prevention, Control and Treatment Fund following India’s footsteps where similar kind of budget for two years has been transferred to the Prime Minister’s Fund.
The decision was taken right after a discussion between Agni Sapkota, speaker of House of Representative, and speakers and deputy speakers of the provincial assemblies. As per the agreement, the current budget of local infrastructure development partnership programmes and next year’s budget will be transferred to the fund.
Leaders of various political parties had been pressuring the government to transfer the unspent budget of various development heads to the coronavirus fund.
Economists and civil society members had also requested to dissolve the programmes. However, the government was silent on this topic until the lawmakers agreed to transfer the fund.
The federal government has allocated a total of Rs 10 billion for the programmes. Similarly, provincial governments also has similar kind of programmes. With this, the federal government and the local governments have allocated a total of Rs 20 billion for the fund.
It has been reported that the budget for the infrastructure development wasn’t been used productively.