Local Government leaders (Gups) have expressed the need for proper consultation to be made before they decide or approve the budget distribution for the gewogs. They are not satisfied with the current practice of how the budget is being distributed among the gewogs.
The issue was discussed in the Dzongkhag Tshogdue (DT) in Haa.
Sombaykha Gup Tobgay who is also the Deputy Chair of DT said that it is important for Local Government (LG) to know the process of how the budget distributions are being approved, be it a dzongkhag budget or a drungkhag budget.
“If we do not understand the whole process of budget allocation, we lack in understanding on how projects are being prioritized or on how things are being planned. At Gewog Tshogdue, we decide on project depending upon the beneficiaries from the chiwog. The project which we fail to decide at Gewog Tshogdue is put up for discussions in the DT,” he added.
It is a must to know on what basis the projects are being prioritized, and are being approved by the dzongkhag and drungkhag, he said, adding that thereby, a committee to actually decide and approve the project on a merit basis is required.
It would be convenient if they can form a committee comprising of sector heads from the dzongkhag and one to two Gups so that they can discuss and decide on how and where to distribute the budget for effective use, he said.
He further said, “Some gewogs are well developed while some remains under developed, and this can be because of improper consultation with focal persons from the gewogs. This is where we feel that gewogs are being differentiated.”
Some gewogs have received excess budget than their requirement while some do not receive sufficient fund to execute the projects as they wish. Therefore, a proper consultation between dzongkhag and LG is important for the effective use of the budget, he shared.
Bji Gup Passang said that the people are thankful to whatever dzongkhag does, which is for the wellbeing of the people, but consultation with the Gups can further enhance the development works.
He said, “There are many important developmental activities in gewogs, and therefore, if the budget distribution can be done after series of consultations, and if it can be distributed in such a way that it can cover all the areas.”
For any developmental activities, LG uses the allocated budget, and no additional budget support from the dzongkhags is demanded, he said, adding that henceforth, in the 13th FYP, if they can form a committee to consult and decide on equal distribution of the budget amongst the gewogs.
Likewise, Katsho Gup Phuntsho Norbu said that the dzongkhag has been doing its best for the people, however, in terms of budget allocation, if they can come in close consultation with the member of the DT, there is the possibility to include the projects which could not be completed due to lack of budget, irrespective of the places.
Meanwhile, Thrizin of the DT Tenzin Jamba said, “Both Dzongkhag and LG have the expertise in terms of planning. However, people working on the ground level will have the best of knowledge in the area of issues, and the areas which needs to be prioritized.”
Therefore, he said that it would be more convenient and reliable if the dzongkhag can consult with people working on the ground from the planning stage itself.