Issues causing low spending should be resolved, MPs say

  • donor-funded development projects
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 17, 2016-

Issues resulting in low expenditure in donor-funded project should be addressed, lawmakers and the government officials have said.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the Parliamentary the Development Committee here on Tuesday, its Chairman Rabindra Adhikari said capital expenditure pattern has remained poor donor-funded projects.

In 2015-16, capital expenditure in such projects stood at just 56 percent—lowest in the last five years.  Frequent transfers of project officials, government agencies’ indecision, problems created by locals, and lack of ownership of project documents by political parties are among concerns being raised by the donors for the poor spending and progress.

“Efficient people are not appointed as project chiefs,” said Adhiarki. “Even if only 50 percent of the project officials are good performers, half of problems will be solved automatically,” he said.

According to the Finance Ministry, almost all the donor-funded projects have got deadline extension. “Irrespective of their size, almost all of them have got deadline extension due to their failure to complete in time,” said Baikuntha Aryal, joint secretary at the ministry.

One of the poor performing projects is the Postal Road, which is supposed to connect Nepal’s bordering areas with the East-West Highway. Works on most of the project’s parts have not moved ahead after the contractors ran away. Although the project has got significant budgetary allocation, the progress has remained very poor. 

Energy Secretary Arjun Karki said continued delay in the works “is an insult to Madhes”. “These roads were there in Madhes even before any roads in the Hilly region were built,” said Karki. “But I feel ashamed for being unable to do anything to speed up the construction works despite being administrative head of a ministry responsible for spearheading the project.”

The postal highways are being upgraded with Indian assistance. During the meeting, the lawmakers blamed political instability and trend of appointing project chiefs to serve political interests for slow progress of donor-funded projects.

Published: 17-08-2016 10:53

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