KATHMANDU, September 19: Every year when the government is busy preparing the annual budget, it faces pressure to allocate funds for the projects put forth rampantly by the lawmakers. This has led not only to the misuse of the state’s financial resources, but also results in slow capital expenditure.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has pointed out the flaw in the government system that has impeded the country’s development activities. “Almost every government has been found not abiding by certain standards while rendering priorities to the projects in the annual budget,” said Sharma speaking at a program organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal on Friday.
The National Planning Commission (NPC), the body that recommends to the government to select the new projects in the budget, mostly comes under pressure from lawmakers every year at the last hour of the budget preparation. To please the voters of their constituencies, lawmakers are often found to pressurize the NPC officials to include even unworthy projects in the list.
Giving an example of road construction, Minister Sharma said there are almost no standards identified at the government mechanism to assess whether or not new construction is required in certain localities and what the road lane size should be.
Sharma said the officials of various ministries have also been thwarted by the government’s untoward budgetary plans. “When I called on the secretaries of various ministries, they expressed that the ministries have been unable to spend the capital expenses mainly due to the selection of undeserving projects,” he said.
The government every year allocates around 22 percent of the total expenditure for development activities through the budget. However, the government achieves hardly 70 percent success in spending funds meant for infrastructure projects.