Ministries get NPC approval for only 37 P1 projects

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Aug 24, 2014-National Planning Commission (NPC) has approved only 11 percent of the first priority (P1) projects as of Sunday. Although the Finance Ministry had asked ministries to get all of their P1 projects approved by August 10, they only sent 14 percent of the projects to NPC for approval. The ministries have so far sent just 47 P1 programmes and projects out of 339, and the NPC has approved 37.

NPC has to approve P1 projects before they go into implementation. For P2 and P3 projects, the ministries concerned are responsible.

As the delay in getting the projects approved by NPC delays their implementation, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat at a meeting on Sunday directed the ministries to get all the programmes and projects approved within the next two weeks. “They have also been asked to award contracts by mid-December,” said Finance Ministry Spokesperson Ram Sharan Pudasaini. The delay in budget presentation and late endorsement as well as the delay in the project approval process pushes implementation of development projects to latter months of the fiscal year, affecting the quality of work.

Despite a timely budget presentation, only Rs 415 billion of the cash budget was spent out of Rs 471 billion, according to annual report of Nepal Rastra Bank. Total budget of the last fiscal year was Rs 517 billion, which also included resources under the direct payment from donors.

The government spent just Rs 52 billion of the foreign aid despite the allocation of Rs 113 billon under the foreign aid heading. The government raised just Rs 20 billion in internal loans against its plan of Rs 44 billion. Still, the government’s treasury has Rs 40 billion of surplus money, according to Finance Ministry.

At the meeting, the finance minister also directed the ministries to expedite project implementation and ensure quality. He also asked the ministries, including Physical Infrastructure, Urban Development and Irrigation, to prepare a list of the projects that could be implemented immediately once the budget is allocated.

Mahat asked them not to show the unavailability of pebbles and stones as an excuse to their inability to implement projects.

Published: 25-08-2014 09:52

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