Where will the Govt Spend Rs 76 Billion Allocated under the Heading of Miscellaneous Finance?

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Where will the Govt Spend Rs 76 Billion Allocated under the Heading of Miscellaneous Finance?

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Finance has allocated a larger amount under various headings in next year's budget compared to the current fiscal year. Approximately Rs 76 billion have been earmarked under the 'Miscellaneous Finance' heading for the next fiscal year, intended for earthquake reconstruction and hosting foreign dignitaries. In the current year, an estimated Rs 57.369 billion will be spent under miscellaneous headings.

This budget allocation method allows the government discretionary spending without allocation for specific project, which can be seen as lacking financial discipline. The Integrated Economic Indicators and Classification 2074 issued by the Financial Comptroller General Office discourages budgeting through various sources without clear plans. If existing plans are underfunded, additional funds can be drawn from the miscellaneous heading.

The ministry has also allocated Rs 75.083 billion as miscellaneous for the fiscal year 2081/82. This includes Rs 10 million for special visits, Rs 15 million for hosting delegations, Rs 5.083 billion for land compensation for government projects, Rs 10 million for financial aid, Rs 300 million for customs refunds, Rs 300 million for building purchases, construction, and improvements, Rs 5.3 million for infrastructure, and Rs 62 million rupees for various fees and payments.

Furthermore, Rs 25.98 billion have been allocated for miscellaneous expenses, Rs 19.8 billion rupees for disaster relief and rehabilitation, and Rs 8.3 billion for development programs under different headings. Additionally, Rs 3 billion are set aside for federal structure and infrastructure development programs.

The Ministry has allocated Rs 4.015 billion under miscellaneous headings to address complaints about the lack of budget for incomplete projects. It has also reserved Rs 2 billion from various sources for the Gandaki Economic Triangle Project, with clear criteria being established for its expenditure.

Commenting on this, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Uttar Kumar Khatri, stated that the budget includes significant allocations from various sources, ranging from earthquake reconstruction to visits by foreign dignitaries. He emphasized that specific visits will be funded from different sources, including various types of financial assistance announced by the Council of Ministers.

Former Chief Secretary Bimal Koirala expressed concern over the increase in budget under this heading to Rs 76 billion, noting that this could lead to misuse due to the lack of clear guidelines for spending such funds. He stressed the importance of clearly defining the areas where these funds can be spent and ensuring proper management.

It seems that the Ministry of Finance has spent approximately Rs 310 million under the miscellaneous heading so far this year, and there are concerns that the increase to Rs 76 billion in various headings in the next year's budget could lead to misuse.


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