Budget execution

Capital spending still dismal despite lofty govt promises

Published On: January 16, 2019 10:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Only 17.68 percent spent in the first half FY2018/19, compared to 14.35 percent in the same period in FY2017/18

KATHMANDU, Jan 16: The government’s performance in terms of boosting capital expenditure did not improve much in the first half of the current fiscal year in comparison to the same period of the previous fiscal year – FY2017/18. 

According to the data of the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), the government has managed to spend only 17.68 percent of capital budget over the first six months of FY2018/19, compared to 14.35 percent in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Out of the allocation of Rs 313.998 billion for capital expenditure in the current fiscal year, the government could spend only Rs 55.2 billion as of Monday. 

Though there were expectations that the timely approval of the budget from parliament will help the government with two-thirds majority in increasing its capital expenditure, there has not been any significant progress in executing development projects as reflected in the spending figure of the FCGO.

The dismal performance contradicts with repeated commitments of the Prime Minister as well as ministers that the current government will break the trend of ‘Asarey Development’, or spending at the last month of the fiscal year to meet the spending target. 

Observers say that poor development spending in the first half indicates that the government would again ramp up development works in the remaining six months of the current fiscal year, particularly during the last quarter.

While the capital spending is weak, the government has managed to spend 35.08 percent of recurrent budget. Out of Rs 845.45 billion allocated under recurrent budget, the government has spent 296.58 billion as of Monday. 

All in all, the government has achieved 28.57 percent financial progress in terms of budget execution. The government maintains a budgetary surplus of Rs 144.2 billion as of Monday, according to the FCGO. 

During the review period, the government collected a total of Rs 520.02 billion in revenue out of the annual target of Rs 945.56 billion.

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