Republica, Kuvera Chalise, February 1: Government agencies are losing their institutional capacity to expedite capital spending.
"Ten ministries and central authorities have been able to spend less than 10 percent of their total capital budget by January 27,” says Financial Comptroller General Rajendra Prasad Nepal.
Likewise, 12 ministries have been able to spend between 10 to 20 percent of the allocated development budget, while only seven ministries have been able to spend between 20 percent and 25 percent by January 27, Nepal said.
Ministry of Population and Environment has managed to spend a paltry 0.72 percent of its development budget, followed by Ministry of Supplies (3.03 percent), Ministry of Youth and Sports (4.08 percent) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (5.16 percent). While Ministry of Industry has spent only 7.94 percent of its capital budget, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Aviation has managed to spend 8.39 percent by January 27.
On one hand the m ministries have been unable to spend, and on the other they have been asking for more budget for their ongoing projects. "Though the ministries have failed to spend, they have asked for more capital budget," Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi says.
Ministries have sought additional budget of Rs 215 billion which is nearly 69 percent of the total capital budget, he said, adding that the inefficiency of ministries was worrying.
Inefficient bureaucracy, procedural hurdles, lack of carrot and stick policy, and ad hoc budget preparation process are blamed for low capital spending that could have contributed to not only in employment generation but also in economic development in the long run.
Nearly half a dozen ministries, including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture Development, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, and Ministry of Irrigation, that have the largest chunk of budget have failed to spend. They hold some 44 percent of the total budget, according to Subedi.
“Their performance has not been satisfactory,” Subedi said, directing the ministries to either surrender the unspent budget or spend them effectively.
According to the Financial Comptroller General's Office, the government has been able to spend only 14.73 percent of the total capital budget by Monday. The erstwhile government, led by KP Oli, had brought Rs 1048.92 billion budget. Most of the secretaries of the related ministries claim that they were not consulted in the budget preparation process. They say that the budgetary allocation is of ad hoc nature.
The government so far has been able to spend Rs 45.96 billion capital budget which is 14.73 percent of the total capital budget. The government has, by Monday, been able to spend Rs 304.60 billion that is only 29.04 percent of the total budget.
Rs 34 billion reimbursements still to be claimed
KATHMANDU: The government is yet to claim reimbursements worth Rs 34 billion from different development partners.
According to Financial Comptroller General's Office, many projects, which have already been closed, also have claims for reimbursements.
Some 16 ministries have failed to claim reimbursements even though projects under them have already been closed,” Financial Comptroller General Rajendra Prasad Nepal said, adding that it has added additional financial burden on the government.
"The ministries have to show more urgency to get reimbursements in time,” he added.