NPC proposes budget reduction

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
Says resources needed for reconstruction n Fixes ceiling at Rs 909b

Apr 20, 2016-With huge resources needed for post-quake reconstruction, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has proposed reduction in budget for various ministries and government agencies for the next fiscal year’s budget.

As per the budget ceiling proposed by the NPC, 15 various ministries and government agencies will get less budget for the next fiscal compared to what they got last year. The major ministries and offices whose annual budget has been proposed for cut include the Office of the President, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development, Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction. 

“It is just a proposal,” said a source at the NPC. “As maximum resources should be allocated for reconstruction, the budget meant for some ministries might have to be reduced,” added the source. 

The slowdown in donors’ commitment of assistance for certain projects under some ministries has also forced the NPC to propose reduction in the budget. 

“Allocation for some of the ministries has been reduced, as per the proposal, as there has been a decline in donors’ commitment,” said the source. The other reason, according to the NPC, is the creation of new ministries by the incumbent government. 

The KP Sharma Oli-led government has created four new ministries.  

NPC sources said Rs123 billion will be allocated for reconstruction in the next budget. 

For the current fiscal, the government had allocated Rs91 billion for reconstruction of houses and infrastructure that were damaged by earthquakes last year.

According to NPC officials, although separate budget ceiling has not been given for reconstruction, the budget for the purpose has been accommodated under MoF’s miscellaneous heading. The budget ceiling under this heading stands at Rs211 billion. 

The NPC has proposed a budget ceiling of Rs909.96 billion for the next fiscal. 

Even as NPC has proposed reduction in budget, it has been flooded with demands for additional resources for next fiscal year. 

Suresh Man Shrestha, member secretary of the NPC, told the Parliamentary Finance Committee on Tuesday that additional budget has been sought from the Office of the President to build children’s park. 

Likewise, the Supreme Court  has demanded additional budget for information technology infrastructure in order to fast-track the cases at district and appellate courts.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought additional Rs 5 billion to recruit 5,000 police personnel and upgrading immigration office at  the Tribhuvan International Airport. 

The Ministry of Land Reform and Management has sought additional Rs 2.78 billion for rehabilitation of Haliyas and Kamaiyas. 

The newly established Ministry of Livestock has asked for additional Rs19 billion while the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has sought additional Rs23 billion. 

According to Shrestha, the Ministry of Education, which has got the highest budget ceiling of Rs101 billion, has demanded additional Rs20 billion and the Ministry of Industry has sought additional Rs8 billion. The Ministry of Irrigation and Ministry of Supplies have also asked for additional Rs 15 billion each.  

Comparison with last year

Ministry/ Agency    Proposed for ’16-17)            Allocated for ’15-16

Office of President    0.32    0.35

Office of Auditor General    0.61    0.69

Ministry of Finance    9.07    10.07

Ministry of Industry    4.51    4.93

Ministry of Agriculture Development    17.94    26.68

Ministry of Culture, Tourism    3.74    4.52

Ministry of Forest, Soil Conservation    11.14    13.26

Ministry of Commerce    1.76    2.36

Ministry of Science, Technology    0.76    8.55

Ministry of Urban Development    8.97    24.92

Ministry of Peace, Reconstruction    3.11    3.43

Ministry of Coop, Poverty Alleviation    1.09    1.35

Ministry of Info, Com Tech    3.99    4.21

Ministry of Fed Affairs, Local Dev    73.71    77.23

Ministry of Labour, Employment    0.94    1.09

Published: 20-04-2016 08:33

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