Performance Report


The latest report of performance-based evaluation by the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission (NNRFC) for the fiscal year 2079/2080 BS has been made public. The evaluation was carried out on the basis of 17 indicators for the purpose of the financial equalisation grant to be provided by the federal government to the provinces and local levels in the new fiscal year 2081/82. As shown by the report, Bharatpur Metropolitan City of Chitwan district and Sandhikharka Municipality of Arghakhachi district have topped the performance list. This is the second time in a row that the metropolis has been able to secure the top spot. 

Among the best performers are Malika Rural Municipality of Gulmi, Amargadhi Municipality of Dadelghura, Maiwakhola Rural Municipality of Taplegunj, and Yangwarak Rural Municipality of Panchthar. Bases for the measurement of the local levels' performance were timely announcement and ratification of annual budget and programmes, submission of the share of revenue to the provincial government on a monthly basis, submission of the mid-term budget review to the federal Ministry of Finance, revenue collection, planning for local development, school enrolment, pass out rate, and immunisation.

On the other hand, local bodies in Madhes province continue to lag behind its counterparts in other provinces in every indicator, with Haripurwa Municipality of Sarlahi and Kalikamal Rural Municiaplity of Parsa sitting at the bottom rung of the performance ladder. When compared to other provinces, the province also fares badly in capital expenditure, education, transparency not to mention human development index, among other bases on which layers of development can be built. That the province has persistently been failing to perform on par with its peers must worry us. Though it has launched some laudable programmes like 'Beti Padhao, beti bachao' (Educate daughters, save daughters) and free cycle distribution to its girl students to ensure that they continue their education through higher education, noticeable progress has failed to take off.

And illiteracy holds the people's back like few others, impeding progress in another key indicator: health, and contributing to maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rates, and others adversaries of mankind. Is the province only to blame for its poor performance?  Many leaders in Madhes cite structural and legal problems like failure in devolution of powers and rights to the province from the federal that has kept it from enacting its own laws related to police recruitment and others to function in its own terms politically and legally, as major causes impeding its progress.  

Provinces are the foundation of federalism. And strengthening local bodies means empowering province. The performance of the former is the barometer of the latter. Through federalism, the country aims to create an egalitarian society. But as long as people in some provinces or local bodies continue to remain backward and deprived of the fruits of development as others enjoy all these, the success of the whole federal set-up remains questionable. 

Importantly, for the top performers, resting on their laurels is not an option. They mustn't lose their sight of their priorities, for there is a lot to do even to lift the country to a status of a developing country. Poor performers, for their part, should take a leaf out of their top performing counterparts' book and work hard to enhance their reputation. 

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