NPC Vice Chair Kadel expresses concern over Finance Ministry's tendency to budget transfer
February 19, 2020 08:00 PM NPT
By: Kamal Subedi
KATHMANDU, Feb 19: National Planning Commission (NPC) has stated that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has been transferring budget in a bid to show high budget expenditure.
Speaking at a meeting of the Finance Committee of the House of the Representatives on Wednesday, the vice-chairperson of the NPC Dr Pushpa Raj Kadel revealed that the ministry transfers budget from one topic to another to hide the issue of less expenditure.
According to him, the budget is usually transferred to another sector after making necessary changes to the existing standards when the previously allocated budget is hard to be mobilized in the particular sector.
Kadel also said that the plans are directly sent to the commission from the lower levels without taking prior consent of the federal line ministries. "It feels as if the formulating plans lack coordination and linkage among various levels of governments and administration," said he.
Also speaking during the meeting, committee member and former Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said that the NPC has been failing to justify its role in policymaking.
He also questioned the NPC for its inability to check the tendency of introducing plans haphazardly. He also stressed the need to make NPC more powerful and autonomous. "Including a project in the plan book is not important, but its feasibility for implementation plays a vital role."
MP Surendra Prasad Pandey, on the other hand, opined that development works have been frequently obstructed by bringing the mechanical issues copied from other countries. "Some developed countries raise the ecological issues and create the situation of uncertainty and delay in implementation of development projects," argued Pandey. According to him, low capital expenditure is also caused due to such irrelevant debates resulting in delaying execution and sluggish work progress.
Another member Ram Kumari Jhakri blamed the typists of the NPC of not performing their works if they are restricted from including the projects whatever they wish to. "And it must be strictly stopped," she said. According to her, discipline should be maintained among all the lawmakers, ministers and civil servants. "At the same time, plans should be prioritized in such a way so that the capital expenditure can be increased."
The meeting discussed various issues ranging from capital expenditure to plan bank. NPC Chairperson Kadel informed the participants about the recent status of the country's economy and development activities. He also informed that it is hard to meet the target of 8.5 per cent of economic growth set within current fiscal year 2019/20.