September 15: The government will not be able to spend from the state coffers from Wednesday (September 15) due to the failure to endorse the Replacement Bill within the given deadline.
There is a legal provision that an ordinance has to be endorsed within 60 days since it is presented in parliament. The replacement bill should also be endorsed within the same period. The deadline to endorse the ordinance budget presented in parliament by the erstwhile Oli government on May 29 has expired today (September 15).
Speaker Agni Sapkota has deferred the House of Representatives meeting until September 20. This has effectively stopped government expenditure from Wednesday (September 15).
Speaking with media persons at the Federal Parliament in New Baneshwor after the failure to endorse the replacement bill on Tuesday, Finance Minister Janardan Sharma admitted that the government’s expenditure could be stopped for some days but the country will move on.
The current situation is referred to as ‘budget holiday’ in terms of economics.
The government was expected to endorse the replacement bill through regular process of the House of Representatives on Tuesday but it was not possible due to the obstruction caused by the UML lawmakers. The main opposition party UML has been obstructing the lower house proceedings since the current session began on September 8.
What happens when the budget is not endorsed?
Even if the budget is not passed, the salary allowance of high ranking officials will not be stopped. Important state bodies and individuals will benefit from the government's accumulated fund. The salaries of the President, Vice President, Chief Justice, heads of the constitutional bodies, speaker / deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, chairperson / vice-chairperson of the National Assembly will be paid from the reserve fund.
However, the salary and perks of the prime minister, ministers and government staff will be stopped due to lack of budget spending authority. Similarly, the budget allocated by the government for development projects and other works will not be disbursed until the budget is endorsed from the parliament.