KATHMANDU, Feb 9: Government's development spending has improved in recent weeks.
Development budget of Rs 14.86 billion was spent in the last 25 days, according to daily budgetary status posted by Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO) on its website.
Different government agencies had managed to spend development budget of only Rs 35.35 million till January 14. Such spending reached Rs 50.01 billion on Tuesday.
The government has allocated development budget of Rs 311 billion for different projects in the current fiscal year.
Initiatives in project monitoring taken by the Prime Minister himself and seven committees coordinated by seven members of National Planning Commission (NPC) have made improvement in capital spending, said Min Bahadur Shrestha, vice chairman of NPC. “A total of Rs 8 billion was spent in the last week alone,” he added.
Rajendra Nepal, secretary of FCGO, attributed rise in development spending in recent weeks to increased supervision of development projects. “Also, this happens to be the time when development projects gain pace and speed up spending,” he added.
The government has draw flaks from all quarters for disappointingly low capital spending. Slow expenditure in the first half of the current fiscal year had even draw attractions of different parliamentary committees. Organizing a meeting on Monday, the Public Accounts Committee of legislature-parliament had instructed the government to spend over 80 percent of the development budget by mid-June.
Spending records of past years show that over 35 percent of the capital spending is made in the last 30 days, or mid-June to mid-July, of the fiscal year. Such a hasty spending also raises question on quality of works.
NPC Vice Chairman Shrestha, however, claimed that things will be different this time as performance contract has been signed with most of the project managers. “Performance contract has been signed with almost all of the project managers. We are hopeful that it will result in better project management as performance evaluation will be linked to rewards and punishment accordingly,” he added.
Low government spending has also triggered liquidity crunch in the financial system will banks seeing loan-able fund dry up.