Legal basis is needed for monitoring and evaluation of development works: Minister Sharma

KATHMANDU, JANUARY 28: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said a legal basis is required for monitoring and evaluating development and construction projects launched by the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Planning Commission and the related government ministries.  “So, the bill has been brought to fulfil this requirement,” she informed while taking part in discussions held today on the principles of the Monitoring and Evaluation Bill, 2076 BS in a meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, the House of Representatives (HoR).

The bill originated in the National Assembly was amended by the upper house thematic committee and later passed by the Assembly. It along with a report was sent to the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Federal Parliament. The HoR forwarded the bill to the Committee for further enriching the document.

The bill was brought in the context of a lack of clear legal provisions as to which of the three tiers of the government namely local, provincial and centre will carry out the monitoring and evaluation of which development projects with the formation of the three layers of government of late.

At present, the National Development Council chaired by the Prime Minister, the minister-level development council, and the provincial and local levels have been carrying out the monitoring in their own ways.

The proposed bill has incorporated a provision allowing for a third party to conduct the monitoring and evaluation. Some new mechanisms have also been proposed for the monitoring and evaluation.

Minister Sharma stated that the bill should incorporate topics like the modality, the kind of policy provisions and the structural system for the monitoring and evaluation of projects to be operated by all three tiers of the government. Stating that it was necessary to include the issues in the bill and how to give legal recognition and legitimacy to make monitoring effective, she mentioned that regular monitoring and evaluation of the projects are the importance and speciality of the bill.

“With the passage of the bill, policy-level arrangement and criteria related to monitoring as well as the basis of monitoring and evaluation of development projects would be determined.”

.Members expressed their views that projects could not be completed within the deadline as per the agreement due to corruption and anomalies in infrastructure constriction. Pradeep Poudel, who amended the bill, said there was no alternative to bring the guilty under the ambit of the law to end the trend of not completing the national pride projects on time.

He shared, “There will be a big challenge in the development of the country if the problem of not completing the development projects within the deadline will not be addressed on time. State structured and contractors should be made accountable making alternative mechanism for monitoring and evaluation.” Committee members– Raghuji Panta, Dilendra Prasad Badu, and Hemraj Rai, expressed their views on the occasion.