Na members get cash for ‘constituency development’
Thimphu, April 18, 2009: The National Council members seemed to be irked at the decision of the government to provide constituency development grant to the elected leaders of National Assembly.
The finance ministry had approved the grant on April 3, which had been the issue of hot debates in last session of parliament. The NC had forwarded the matter to King. The government had not informed the NC of the approval.
The government order issued for implementation of the fund mentions said that the Constituency Development Grant (CDG) Rules had been finalized and circulated for implementation by the members of the National Assembly (NA) and relevant agencies.
The rules further said that the projects will require to be endorsed by the concerned MP to ensure that they have control over the actual utilization of the grant, which is against the decision of the ruling DPT’s policy of decentralization where it empowers the local leaders to finalize local projects.
Now on government will have additional burden of Nu 2 million annually for distributing to NA members. The project will have to benefit a minimum of ten households, fund at least ten activities over a period of five years and be used by activities, not covered by normal budgets, like advancement of women and children, poverty alleviation, skills development, among others.
The order said the grant cannot be used for current expenditure, construction of gewog offices, purchase of vehicles, acquisition of buildings and land, contributions and supplement activities funded by the government.