Towards GRID-friendly municipalities: Supporting GRID-aligned annual policy, programme and budget for the Fiscal Year 2080/81 B.S.
Over the last four years, NURP has been sensitising municipalities on the principles of Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (GRID) and providing support to prepare annual policies, programmes, and budgets, as well as vision documents, periodic plans, Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF), and Inclusive Local Economic Development Strategies and Action Plans (ILEDS&APs).
This support complements national legal frameworks such as the Local Government Operation Act (2017), Intergovernmental Fiscal Management Act (2017) and the Local Level Plan Formulation Guidelines 2021, issued by the National Planning Commission, which ensures that the annual policies, programmes, and budgets of local governments are aligned with federal and provincial priorities. This also ensures that the local planning process integrates national and international commitments made by the Government of Nepal to GRID, Gender-Responsive Budgeting and the Sustainable Development Goals.
To date, Sudridh-NURP’s support to integrate GRID in local level planning has included regular trainings for the elected representatives and municipal staff on the importance of GRID-friendly plans and programmes. Such trainings include orientation on:
- the GRID concept,
- the relevance of GRID in urban development and examples of GRID friendly projects and programmes, and
- the GRID screening checklist, it’s use and exercises.
During one of these trainings that was held in this April, commitments were made by the municipal authorities to formulate, allocate resources and implement GRID-friendly programmes and budget for the fiscal year of 2080/81.
For the third year in a row, all three target municipalities of Sudridh-NURP: Pokhara Metropolitan City, Janakpurdham and Butwal Sub-Metropolitan Cities – have applied the GRID approach while formulating their annual policies, programmes and budgets, following the periodic and strategic plans, including MTEF. A significant number of NURP-supported acts, guidelines, and plans have been integrated into the municipal planning process and referenced as guidance. This signals that the municipalities are committed to integrating GRID and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) into their activities have included sufficient budget allocation for specific projects, notably, the Rangabhoomi ground in Janakpurdham, BP-Puspalal-Surya Prasad Smriti Park and Inclusive Park in Butwal. Additionally, action points agreed during the training on GRID-friendly policy, programme and budget were included in the annual planning document prepared by each of the three municipalities. The municipal policies and programmes have also placed a strong emphasis on various sectors which NURP has supported, such as climate change adaptation and mitigation, green and low carbon development, GESI integration and prioritisation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
Pokhara Metropolitan City (PMC):
In Pokhara, the annual policies for FY 2080/81 have been guided by key national goals. These include the fifteenth plan of Nepal, the Sustainable Development Goals, the strategy to reach net zero by 2045, as well as the goal of upgrading Nepal to a middle-income country by 2030 and minimizing the adverse effects of climate change.
Some of PMC’s GRID-aligned policies and programmes for this fiscal year include:
- A system for environmental impact assessment will be adopted that uses the GRID checklist before the implementation of the development projects.
- The carbon neutral strategic action plan will be gradually implemented, with the goal of making Pokhara a carbon neutral city by 2100.
- A modern waste processing centre will be established and operated under the PPP model, to sort, recycle, and process waste.
- Policies will be adopted to establish the “Capital City of Tourism, Pokhara Metropolis” (पर्यटनको राजधानी सहर, पोखरा महानगर) along with the concept of “Green Economy and Resilient City as the basis of Inclusive Economic Development” (समावेशी आर्थिक विकासको आधार हरित अर्थतन्त्र तथा उत्थानशील सहर).
- Public-private dialogues (PPD) will be regularly organised for meaningful cooperation between the municipality and the private sector and to improve the business environment.
- A policy will be adopted for new buildings within metropolitan city to meet the needs of senior citizens, people with a disability, and gender and sexual minorities.
- The definition and criteria of “metropolitan pride projects” will be set and only those projects that meet the specified criteria will be listed as “pride projects” and will be included in the MTEF.
- Town development procedures will be prepared based on the town development, urban planning and building-related basic guidance, 2072 issued by Ministry of Urban Development. Risk-free and suitable areas will be identified and unorganized urbanisation will be discouraged by providing building permits and regulating the construction of multi-storey buildings.
Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City (BSMC):
The annual policies for BSMC are guided by the commitment to implement the long-term vision “Equality, self-respect and opportunity: liveable Butwal city”.
Some of BSMC’s GRID-aligned commitments for FY 2080/81 include:
- Projects, programmes and activities will be prioritised for selection and the GRID approach will be a key element of the prioritisation.
- A GESI budget analysis and formulation system will be adopted and implemented.
- During the building permit process, arrangements will be made to allocate space to promote greenery.
- A policy will be adopted to operate PPP projects in collaboration with the private sector in potential areas such as parking, building, shopping complexes etc.
- Preference will be given to the PPP model while mobilising revenue.
- Major infrastructure developments in the municipality will be made sustainable, environment-friendly, disability-friendly, child-friendly and gender-friendly.
- Formulation and implementation of MTEF will be continued.
Janakpurdham Sub-Metropolitan City (JSMC):
The annual policies will be adopted to implement JSMC’s long-term vision of a “Clean, hygienic, aesthetic and well-cultured Janakpurdham Sub-Metropolitan City”. Some of JSMC’s GRID-aligned policy and programmes for FY 2080/81 are given below:
- A PPP centre will be established to promote cooperation with the private sector and to attract investment .
- The religious and historical ponds will be re-developed by cleaning and beautifying the ponds.
- A systematic land pooling programme will be conducted and an integrated urban development plan will be prepared.
- The Nepal National Building Code- Seismic Design of Buildings in Nepal-NBC 105-2020, issued by MoUD of Nepal government, will be fully implemented.
- A “Project Bank” of potential big projects to be created in the coming fiscal year will be prepared to manage infrastructure development work.
- The private sector will be attracted by implementing the PPP model in waste management.
- The heritage route corridor of Janakpur will be promoted with greenery and beautification.
The allocation of budget to the above GRID-aligned long-term practices is a key step to secure the sustainability and ownership of NURP interventions even beyond the project’s lifetime.