KATHMANDU, Feb 8: A new Home Administration Strengthening Plan 2068 BS unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar a month ago has fallen in limbo after the finance ministry expressed inability to provide the requested budget.
Sources said the finance ministry has expressed inability to allocate budget in the middle of the fiscal year, saying that all the existing resources are tied up with various projects as mentioned in the budget and that there is little room for manipulation of resources put aside for contingency purposes to finance such an ambitious plan.
Of the total Rs 4 billion budget allocated for contingency purposes in the current budget, the finance ministry has already allocated Rs 1.97 billion for the rehabilitation of Maoist combatants and additional Rs 2.5 billion under various other headings, including oil financing. The ministry will be required to provide budget to slow-paced projects once they gain momentum.
The Home Administration Strengthening Plan unveiled by Home Minister Gachchhadar is estimated to cost Rs 22.04 billion. The home ministry had written to the finance ministry for Rs 5.12 billion for the three-year plan on January 8, three days after Minister Gachchhadar unveiled the ambitious plan.
Officials at the home ministry said they have not been able to implement the plan as the finance ministry has not given a nod to their request.
Home Ministry Spokesperson Shankar Koirala, however, said negotiations are still under way with the finance ministry for necessary budget to implement the plan aimed at bolstering law and order situation in the country.
“We have already forwarded the request for budget. Discussions are taking place at various levels including at the level of minister and secretary,” he said.
The plan earmarked Rs 10.56 billion for infrastructure development, Rs 2.59 billion for vehicles, Rs 4.89 billion for additional human resources in police force, and Rs 3.99 billion for machinery and equipment.
Among other things, the home ministry planned to recruit additional 42,000 police personnel in phase-wise manner as a part of the plan. Minister Gachchhadar had announced to recruit some 10,000 police personnel in this fiscal year alone.