135 local bodies yet to present budget for 2019-20 fiscal year

July 04, 2019

The Himalayan Times, July 04, 2019

Against the federal government’s direction to all local level governments to present their budget on time, altogether 135 local bodies are yet to present their budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-20.

The federal government had given a June 25 deadline to the local bodies to present their budget, but only 618 local bodies have complied so far.

Jaya Narayan Acharya, joint secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), the ministry had forwarded a circular to all the local bodies to present their budget by Asadh 10, but 135 local bodies have failed to do so.

According to Acharya, Province 2 has maximum number of local bodies that have been unable to present their budget for upcoming fiscal year till date.

As per the Intergovernmental Fiscal Management Act, local bodies have to present their budget latest by Asadh 25 (July 10). “If they fail to present the budget by July 10, they will not be able to utilise the budget allocated to them, except for in extraordinary or emergency cases,” he said.

As per Acharya, the local bodies may not be equipped enough to present their budget, which could be causing the delay. “Considering the constraints they may be facing, we are now encouraging them rather than putting pressure on them to present the budget by July 10.”

He further informed that while most local bodies that are yet to present their budget are village municipalities, some are municipalities.

Moreover, nine local bodies have not even corresponded with the ministry whether or not they will be able to present their budget by July 10. The other 126 local bodies, however, have informed the MoFAGA that they will be presenting their budget before Asadh 25.

According to MoFAGA, the said local bodies had been unable to present their budget by June 25 due to various reasons.

“Apart from internal conflicts related to allocations, some local bodies said they lack trained manpower to formulate the budget,” said Acharya. “However, some have cited unusual reasons for being unable to present their budget, like dispute regarding who will be the chief guest during the budget unveiling ceremony.”