My Republica, September 22, 2020
KATHMANDU: The government has been able to spend only 11 percent of the budget in the first two months of the current fiscal year 2020/21.
According to the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), the federal government’s total expenditure as of Sunday stands at 11.39 percent of the budget for the current fiscal year 2020/21. The data shows that Rs 81.53 billion has been spent out of the total allocation of Rs 1,474.64 billion for the current fiscal year.
While the recurrent expenditure stands at 7.76 percent, the government was able to spend only 1.51 percent of the capital expenditure in these two months.
Of the Rs 352.92 billion allocated for capital expenditure, the government has spent only Rs 5.34 billion so far. Similarly, the government’s recurrent expenditure in these two months stands at Rs 73.6 billion.
While expenditures in the first quarter tend to remain low as authorities say they work out on laying groundwork like preparing working procedures and bidding documents for the implementation of the projects, the spending progress in the first two months in the current fiscal year is lower than the same period of the last fiscal year 2018/19.
In the first two months of the last fiscal year, the government had spent 12.05 percent of the total budget.
However, the budget for the last fiscal year was bigger than that of the current fiscal year.
Government officials say that the weak spending is due to COVID-19 and the subsequent measures including lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“Many development projects have been stalled due to the pandemic as workers, contractors and all other people have stayed home due to the risk of the coronavirus infection. The low spending figure is a reflection of the halt in economic activities due to the pandemic,” said a high level official at the Ministry of Finance.