KATHMANDU, Dec 8: Today's meeting of the Development Committee (DC) under the Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to increase the development expenditure for this fiscal year to 90 percent.
The National Planning Commission, the Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development have been asked to act in this regard.
The direction follows the lawmakers attending the meeting who drew the attention of the government to the situation wherein only six percent development expenditure has been made although five months into the start of the current fiscal year.
The attending lawmakers viewed that the delay in approving development projects, obstructions in project execution areas by local people, forest and environment related-problems, a lack of construction materials, a delay in the construction of development projects citing various reasons and a failure to blacklist those contractors failing to complete projects on time among others are some factors that have made the matter worse.
In response, Local Development Minister Hitraj Pandey informed that although the ministry banned the extraction of construction materials like sands and pebbles from rivers in the past, the authority to do so now has been handed over to the respective District Development Committees.
Committee president Rabindra Adhikari said the meeting decided to instruct the bodies concerned not to allocate the budget to projects which are without preparation.
Lawmaker Lalitjung Shahi shared that only six percent of the total development budget has been spent in the last five months of the current fiscal year, which according to him, shows the lack of capacity to spend the budget.
Lawmakers Ganesh Pahadi, Sita Giri, Rabin Koirala, Baijanath Chaudhary, Tulasa Rana, Janardan Dhakal, Mohan Baniya and Shiva Chandra Chaudhary pointed out to the lack of human resources at the bodies utilizing the development expenditure, lack of coordination among the different bodies concerned and transfer of employees at the wrong time were hampering the development expenditure.
Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi said the Ministry has issued 10-point directives on November 23 to the bodies concerned for spending the development budget in a legitimate manner.
On the occasion, member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Hiranya Pradhan and joint secretary Lal Shankar Ghimire and officials from the Department of Local Infrastructure and Agricultural Roads (DOLIDAR) and the Department of Roads apprised the meeting on the problems faced in expending the development budget. RSS