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Gewog development budget to be raised

The development budget for the gewogs will see an increase from the 11th five-year plan, which starts in July 2013, prime minister Jigmi Y Thinley said during his recent tour of the eastern districts.

Although no specifics were revealed Lyonchhoen said there would be a slight raise to lessen the limitations arising from inadequate funds.

The gewog budget in the 11th Plan will be allocated on the basis of the multi-dimensional poverty index, population, area and transportation costs. The gewog budget is divided as 45 percent on multi poverty index, 35 percent on population, 10 percent on area and 10 percent for transportation cost index. Gewogs are also given an equal share of Nu 2M each.

In the 10th Plan, the basis of budget allocation was done as 25 percent on poverty index, 70 percent population and five percent on area.

Gewog budget covers maintenance and construction of community lhakhangs, agricultural and livestock activities and rural water supply scheme. Opening and maintenance of mule tracks, suspension bridge are also met from gewog budget.

The budget also includes general administration and support services like telephone bills, gewog tshogde meeting expenses, electricity bills and stationaries.

“More money definitely means an increase in developmental activities and a provision for quality works,” Samkhar gup Sonam Dorji said.

An official from Trashigang said an increase in gewog budget would widen coverage of irrigation channels and meet the increasing cost of materials.

Many proposed development activities in the gewogs for the 11th plan were slashed because it exceeded the budget ceiling.

“Without funds it has been difficult to meet the targets and maintain quality,” Shongphu Mangmi Nidup Tshewang said.

He said their projection was around Nu 100M, which later reduced to around Nu 38M because it exceeded the budget ceiling.

Kangpara gup Chempa Dorji, in a presentation to Lyonchhoen, said three farm road constructions were all it had in the 11th Plan. “We couldn’t leave provision for other developmental activities because construction of three farm roads already exceeded the budget ceiling,” Chempa Dorji said. “Farm roads are people’s top need.”

The three farm roads are from Kangpar gewog center to Threlphu, Brumshari to Pasaphu and Baydengphu to Lamaigonpa.

The total 30 km farm roads are expected to cost around Nu 90M. Kangpar’s budget ceiling is only around Nu 31.8M.

By Tempa Wangdi

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