Print Edition - 2015-04-04 | MONEY
Govt told not to allocate budget
- projects without technical preparations
Apr 3, 2015-
The Parliamentary Development Committee on Friday directed the government not to allocate budget for development projects whose technical preparation has not been completed.
Allocation of resources for such projects has resulted in just funds allotment, but no spending, affecting the overall capital expenditure of the government, according to the officials.
The development committee’s meeting asked the government to first study technical preparation of the projects whose detailed project reports (DPR) have not been prepared and allocate resources for the DPR only, according to the committee’s directive.
There is a trend of allocating budget for the development of projects even before the DPR is prepared, and the resources allocated to such projects remain idle.
Development Committee Chairperson Rabindra Adhikari said allocation of huge resources for projects whose preparatory work has not completed is one of the main reasons for poor capital spending. “Of the 160 bridges which got budget this fiscal year, there had been no preparatory work on 143,” he said.
Adhikari said there is a tradition of allocating budget for not-ready-to-go projects under the influence of politicians and bureaucrats. “It is obvious that politicians seek to influence the project selection process for their political interest. But even bureaucrats make efforts to select projects of their interest nowadays,” said Adhikari.
In the last fiscal year, the Energy Ministry was forced to ask the Finance Ministry to allocate budget for land acquisition after the government allocated resources only for power projects. As a result, much of the resources allocated for the power projects remained idle.
The committee asked the government not to focus on the number of projects, but on completing the ongoing projects. It also asked the government to coordinate at the central, regional and local levels properly before selecting projects.
Instead of completing the existing projects there is a trend of adding new projects, resulting in resources fragmentation that don’t give timely results. For example, the government aimed to implement 491 central-level development projects this fiscal year, up from 455 projects in the previous fiscal.
For district-level projects, the Parliamentary committee has asked the National Planning Commission and Local Development Ministry to ensure the development projects are selected through District Council and they are also approved by the District Development Committees.
Until now, there is a tradition of getting even small-scale project approved by the NPC, which takes a long procedure for approval, affecting the implementation.
“Our committee some six months ago had directed the NPC not to accept any application from lawmakers for district-level projects,” said Adhikari. “We reminded the same to the NPC officials today and they also informed us that they were following our directive.”
The Parliamentary panel also told the government not to add new programmes in the middle of the fiscal year, and ensure national pride projects would not suffer funds shortages at any cost.
Meanwhile, the committee directed the NPC and ministries including Physical Infrastructure, Local Development and Information and Communication Ministry to carry out project audit while selecting them. “While conducting the audit, outcome of the projects after their completion should be projected,” read the directive.
Published: 04-04-2015 09:08