FinMin gives 25 days to get schemes okayed
Jul 23, 2014-
The Finance Ministry has told all the government ministries to get their programmes endorsed by the National Planning Commission (NPC) within 25 days from the date of the budget’s authorization. The time limit was 15 days previously.
The Finance Ministry usually sends such authorization the day after the budget is presented and asks the ministries to get the NPC’s okay. Despite the Finance Ministry’s routine request, the ministries habitually take at least three months to get all the projects endorsed by the NPC.
“As the ministries have complained that 15 days is too short to get the programmes okayed, we have extended the deadline,” said Ram Sharan Pudashaini, spokesperson at the Finance Ministry.
The programmes and projects have to be endorsed by the NPC at the activities level after the budget presentation although they are broadly identified before it.
Delays in the budget approval process have been one of the reasons behind the delays in executing the budget programmes. This has resulted in the government failing to spend a huge amount of the capital budget.
According to government officials, it takes longer to get approval for road projects as there are many of them. The NPC has said that the ministries have not yet sent their programmes and projects to be endorsed.
“It won’t take much time after we receive them,” said NPC Joint Secretary Pushpa Lal Shakya. “The problem is that the ministries are late in submitting the projects for approval.”
Tenders can be called to award the contracts only after the NPC gives its approval, and delays at this stage causes the entire programme to fall behind. This has been the usual cycle for years.
Against this backdrop, the government had planned to introduce an early budget for this fiscal year, but the plan failed as the political parties kept the House busy with political issues and disputes over the transfer of the budget allocations from one heading to another.
Pudashaini said that despite the massive efforts he made last year to get the projects endorsed by the NPC at an early date, it took around three months to get all of them okayed. “That’s why an early budget must be introduced at any cost,” he added.
Published: 24-07-2014 09:13