SURKHET, May 14: It has become very much unlikely for Karnali Province to successfully implement the budget for the current fiscal year 2017/18. The provincial government has yet to form divisions for the implementation of the budget with the FY about to end. The budget, which was approved by the federal parliament on April 28, was released to the provincial government on May 6.
“As the budget was prepared in haste towards the end of the fiscal year, successful implementation of the budget seems very unlikely,” said Provincial Minister for Financial Affairs and Planning Prakash Jwala.
According to him, the major reason behind failure to implement the budget is the lack of government offices. The province has only formed seven ministries and a parliamentary secretariat.
Unlike the budget for the federal government, provincial budgets do not freeze at the end of the fiscal year.
“The unused part of the budget is deposited in the province's reserve fund,” said Minister Jwala, adding, “It can be used in the upcoming fiscal year.”
The government of the Karnali Province was allocated a budget of Rs 1.02 billion for the last three months of the current fiscal year. The province's seven ministries and the parliamentary secretariat had spent Rs 34 million even before the budget was passed. The related ministries have one more month to implement the budget.
“Due to time constraint, the budget has focused on facilitating small plans for infrastructure development and feasibility study in the province,” Minister Jwala said, adding, “Since the province doesn't have offices at the local level, there is low possibility that the budget will be completely implemented.”
The provincial government has to announce the budget for the fiscal year 2018/19 on June 15. The pre-budget will have to be prepared by May 29. The Ministry for Financial Affairs has already started discussions for the pre-budget.
Parliamentarians uninformed about budget
Members of the provincial parliament of Karnali Province are uninformed about the budget for the last three months of fiscal year 2017/18 as they haven't been handed the red book of the budget.
Member of the provincial parliament from Dailekh, Dharmaraj Regmi, has said that unavailability of the red book has deemed him oblivious to the development plans in his constituency.
“We have to start discussions about the pre-budget from May 29, but we are clueless about the existing budget for the current fiscal year,” MP Regmi said, adding, “How will the budget be implemented if even the parliamentarians are not informed?”
Regmi had protested after learning that the minister for financial affairs had reportedly
allocated more budget for his district.