August 13: The government had extended the deadline for small development projects (SDPs) with investment from the Indian Embassy by three years. A meeting of the Council of Ministers on Monday (August 3) decided to extend the time period for these projects.
The SDPs will now get continuity till August 2023.
Earlier, the Indian Embassy used to have direct involvement in these projects. But after the new constitution was promulgated in Nepal, a new clause has been added allowing the projects to run in collaboration with the local units.
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development oversees these projects. According to the ministry, the Indian Embassy can now move ahead with the projects only in collaboration with the local bodies. Joint Secretary at the ministry, Basanta Adhikari, informed New Business Age that the embassy used to finance the projects through the District Development Committees earlier but now the modality has been changed.
The Indian aid used to be spent outside the budget of the Government of Nepal before. But the financial assistance for these projects will now onward be incorporated in the annual budget of the government. Such decision was taken by the cabinet more than seven months ago.
This project, which was initiated in 2003, needs to be renewed every three years.