KATHMANDU, Feb 2: The Ministry of Finance released Rs 3.29 billion for the recurrent expenditures of the provincial assembly secretariats, provincial ministries and the offices of the provincial governors Thursday.
Each provincial assembly secretariat has received Rs 100 million for the salaries of the governors, assembly members and staff and for other office expenditures. A total of Rs 700 million has been allocated for the assembly secretariats.
The amount distributed to each province for running its ministries is Rs 350 million, which is to be divided equally among the seven ministries. This means each ministry in each province has a purse of Rs 50 million as recurrent expenditures for salaries and other regular expenses, Ministry of Finance officials said. The number of ministries in each province has been fixed at seven, including the office of the chief minister. A total of Rs 2.45 billion has been allocated for all the ministries for all seven provinces.
According to the ministry, each office of governor has received Rs 20 million for expenditures. This makes a total allocation of Rs 140 million for all seven governor's offices. These allocations are for the next six months.
However,the provincial assemblies have to endorse a separate budget setting out the level of pay and perks of their respective assembly members, chief ministers and ministers. The pay and perks should not exceed the corresponding amounts for central level ministers and parliamentarians, ministry officials said.
Earlier, the Ministry of Urban Development allocated Rs 150 million for each province for furniture, decorations, layout, design and paintings for the offices, including assembly secretariats, governor's offices and offices of ministers and chief ministers. A total of Rs 1.05 billion has been allocated for the purpose.
The expenses may further increase as the demand for vehicles and other facilities may also increase . These allocations, however, do not include the cost of vehicles for chief ministers, ministers and governors. These have been managed through borrowings from different public entities . “Allocations can be made again in future as needed out of the total allocated for the purpose,” said an official involved in budget distribution among the provinces. With all this allocation, the government has now allocated a total of Rs 4.34 billion out of the total Rs 7.17 billion earmarked for the provinces in the budget document unveiled in May 2017 for the current fiscal year.
The budget distributions are taking place while bureaucrats are busy with office infrastructure in all the provinces.
Province 3 held its first provincial assembly on Thursday and the other provinces will soon hold their provincial assemblies also.
This budget allocation for the provinces is the first since the country adopted the federal setup.
Meanwhile, the budget allocations for all the 753 local units was Rs 225 billion.