October 18: The government has not been able to spend even 15 percent of the allocated budget in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The government had announced to lift the restrictions imposed to curb coronavirus and revitalize the economy as well as carry on with the development works. But the budget spent so far shows that the government’s effort has been ineffective.
According to the Financial Comptroller General’s Office which keeps the record of government expenditures, the government has been able to spend only Rs 201 billion out of the annual budget of Rs 1474 billion, which is just 13.63 percent of the total budget.
The current expenditure of the government in the first three months of the current fiscal year is Rs 182 billion. The capital expenditure is just Rs 15.4 billion.
During the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, the government had spent Rs 178 billion including Rs 156 billion in recurrent expenditure and Rs 18.36 in capital expenditure.
The Financial Comptroller General’s Office says that the recurrent expenditure is high because the expenses for controlling coronavirus pandemic has increased this year. Meanwhile, the capital expenditure has been low because there isn’t any construction works going around.
The government has allocated Rs 352 billion for development works this year.
During the first quarter, the government has spent Rs 3.41 billion to repay the loan and interest to donor agencies.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Basanta Kumar Nembang says that the low expenditure of budget in the first quarter is due to the coronavirus pandemic and the delay in legal procedures. Minister Nembang says that the government is preparing to remove the bureaucratic red tape to speed up the budget expenditure.
The contracts of small and petty projects have already have already signed in the first quarter while the contracts of big projects are yet to be finalized.
“Firstly, the development works have been obstructed by coronavirus and secondly, the procurement process is lengthy and complicated. Therefore, the results are not that impressive in the first quarter,” said Minister Nembang.
According to Minister Nambang, the process of initiating big projects will be started soon and the results will be seen in the second quarter.