July 21: Newly-appointed Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has expressed concern regarding the tendency of not spending 100 percent of the allocated capital budget in the recent years.
During a recent interaction on development and capital expenditure with the secretaries of the Ministry of Finance, he sought reasons for poor spending. He asked the secretaries of the ministries about the low capital expenditure and the expenses at the end of the fiscal year.
In response, the secretaries pointed out to the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason for the flaw.
Similarly, they also pointed to that the lack of skilled manpower in various project, disbursement of funds to projects without adequate preparation, delay in contract signing process, uncertainty of funds in foreign-aided projects, difficulty in land acquisition, allocation of funds to small projects, delay in formulating procedures and criteria for project operation and lack of inter-ministerial coordination were the other reasons behind unachieved target of capital expenditure.
Finance Minister Sharma directed the secretaries to submit necessary suggestions to the Government of Nepal, the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Finance.
Sharma said that the work done in the traditional format and style cannot achieve the expected results. For this, Sharma stressed on the need for the staff to present a concrete action plan with innovative thoughts for improved performance.
According to Finance Secretary Shishir Kumar Dhungana, in the last fiscal year 2077/78, the expenditure of Ministry of Water Supply was 36.81 percent, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport 75.3 percent, the Ministry of Urban Development 87 percent, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration 77.79 percent and the Ministry of Energy.
The government has already submitted the budget ordinance of the current fiscal year 2078/79 to the parliament. The Ministry of Finance is preparing to amend the ordinance and endorse the budget.