February 4: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel said the government is preparing to bring the annual fiscal policy and programmes in a way to completely check the tradition of budgetary virements from the upcoming fiscal year.
In a discussion with the government office chiefs of Rupandehi district in Bhairahawa on Friday evening, he said, "We are formulating a policy to stop wrong practices of preparing budget in a whim than based on rationale and transferring budgets in between. Next year, we would introduce programmes in a way there is no space for budget transfer."
Not only the federal, provincial and local governments but also the government offices have been practicing budget transfer and introducing new initiatives/activities in the mid of the fiscal year.
He argued that the new policy measures would be devised to check the prevailing tradition of formulating incoherent plans and executing them in a weak manner.
The finance minister also urged the government offices only to focus spending on most essential activities as the government has come up with strict austerity plan.
"Revenue mobilization capacity has reduced by 15 to 20 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal year compared to last year. Therefore, there is no option to cut off spending and adopt austerity," he added.
He also said the foreign aid money pledged by the development partners was also lower than expected which he argued has resulted in troubles in completing the planned projects and programmes based on donor funding.
"The international donor community asks us to spend the already-disbursed money first. But, we do not pay our attention to that end. How can we receive assistance when the conditions agreed are not met?" he questioned.
In a different note, the deputy prime minister said the problems surfaced in the operation of the Gautam Buddha International Airport would be resolved soon. -- RSS