MoF, NPC to jointly monitor capital budget spending

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
MoF, NPC to jointly monitor capital budget spending

Jan 3, 2015-

With capital expenditure remaining sluggish, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and National Planning Commission (NPC) are planning to jointly monitor development spending from the next week.

They are all set to visit ministries with huge capital budgets to take stock of the expenditure and progress of major development projects. With the first half of the fiscal year ending in two weeks, capital expenditure has remained at a meagre 10.15 percent.

According to the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), the spending remained at Rs 11.85 billion as of December 31, against the annual allocation of Rs 116.75 billion. As ministries struggle to spend the development budget, its government treasury is currently holding Rs 75 billion.

The MoF-NPC joint monitoring will take stock of activities at ministries, including Physical Infrastructure, Local Development, Agriculture Development, Irrigation, Energy and Urban Development. The major infrastructure and development projects come under these ministries.

Chief at the Finance Ministry’s budget division Baikuntha Aryal said this is the first time the two authorities are directly reaching out to the ministries to take account of capital spending and progress of development activities outlined in the budget. Aryal siad they would hold talks with secretaries and other officials, and the ministry would take necessary measures to help boost the expenditure.

The ministries that deal with major development and infrastructure projects blamed usual problems for low development expenditure during a review meeting held at NPC on Wednesday-Friday.

NPC Vice-chairman Govinda Raj Pokharel said the ministries cited problems such as shortage of construction materials, delays in following the Public Procurement Act and land acquisition-related problems, among others, during the meeting. Secretaries of the ministries also highlighted issues like transfer of government employees, delay in contracts and preparation for the Saarc Summit, among others.

NPC organised the meeting in the run up to the National Development Action Committee meeting to be chaired by the Prime Minister. NPC plans to hold the NDAC of the within this week.

Despite timely budget presentation, the government has failed to spend development budget even this fiscal year. Two weeks ago, a joint meeting three parliamentary committees—Development Committee, Agriculture and Water Resource Committee and Finance Committee—had called the prime minister and other ministers over issue. The meeting had directed the government to complete all the contracts within mid-January.

Published: 04-01-2015 09:48

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