Budget ceiling lowered for physical infra ministry

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 13, 2015-

The Finance Ministry has lowered the budget ceiling for the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure by more than Rs6 billion by removing the foreign assistance component for projects under it.

The National Planning Commission had fixed the maximum limit of the budget allocation for the Physical Infrastructure Ministry at Rs55 billion. But the Finance Ministry has told it that it won’t be getting more than Rs49 billion.

“The Finance Ministry has communicated to me informally that the size of the budget for our ministry has been reduced to Rs49 billion,” said Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the Physical Infrastructure Ministry. “I have not got it in writing though.”

According to officials, the size of the budget was slashed as the foreign aid component, for which the government and donors have not yet signed any agreement, had also been included in preparation of the programmes.

The government usually does not include foreign aid commitments in the budget until an agreement has been signed between the government and the donors concerned because it is not certain that the funds will actually be received. According to Sitaula, his ministry has included a foreign aid component in most of the big infrastructure projects. “Even with the contraction in our allocation, our ministry’s budget for the next fiscal year will be 15 percent larger,” he said.

The government has allocated Rs42 billion for the ministry. The Physical Infrastructure Ministry, which deals particularly with the construction of roads and bridges, has one of the largest budgets in the country.

Published: 14-07-2015 07:58

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