NPC mulls revising budget calendar aiming to ensure effectiveness of govt’s annual budget implementation

Published On: December 22, 2023 09:02 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 22: The National Planning Commission (NPC) is considering completing the preparatory works related to the annual budget at earlier dates than the current schedule, with an aim to make budget implementation more effective.  

The NPC in this regard has revised the budget calendar and is waiting for the final approval from the cabinet. According to the NPC, a committee formed under NPC member Ram Kumar Phuyal is all set to forward the revised calendar to the Council of Ministers via the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Currently, the finance minister presents the annual budget before a joint session of parliament on Jestha 15 (May 28/29). Citing growing complaints on the inadequate time for discussion of budget in parliament, the NPC-led committee has sought to review the current calendar of budget preparation.

In the proposed new schedule, a meeting of the National Resource Management Committee of the NPC will fix the budget ceiling for the next fiscal year by mid-February. The government will prepare the priority and principle of the budget by February end, while its discussion will be completed by mid-April.

As per the proposed provision, the president will present the Government’s Policies and Programs within the third week of April. The discussions over the Government’s Policies and Programs will be completed within the first week of May.

Likewise, the MoF will have to unveil the Economic Survey one week before the budget announcement date. As of now, the ministry has been making public the Economic Survey on the previous day of the budget announcement.    

Meanwhile, the NPC has sent a circular to the government ministries and offices to send their plans for the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2024/25. The planning authority has asked the government bodies concerned to give priority to only the projects that are incorporated in the National Project Bank and have met necessary standards defined by the government.

“The authorities concerned should do necessary homework while they need to produce the rationale of each program that they will propose in the next year’s budget,” reads the NPC directive.

Speaking at a program on Thursday, the NPC Vice-chairman Min Bahadur Shrestha said the proposed projects that do not meet the prescribed standards will not be given space in the next year’s budget. The NPC’s commitment has come up at a time when both the NPC and the MoF often have to face political pressures to include rampant programs in the annual budget.     

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