Despite promises to regularly release expenditure details, government fails to honor its own coronavirus-related spending disclosure timeline
KATHMANDU, Dec 2: The federal government has asked the details of expenditures of the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 from all local units during the first four months of the current fiscal year 2020/21.
Issuing a circular to all local units on Sunday, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA ) has asked local governments to send soft copies of the first four-month expenditure to combat coronavirus in the current fiscal year within a week.
The MoFAGA issued the circular to all local units after the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) sought the details of expenditures to fight the pandemic.
In its letter to the MoFAGA, the OPMCP said that it was collecting details of expenditures in line with a provision made in the budget speech of the current fiscal year to be transparent about the coronavirus-related expenditures.
The budget speech of the current fiscal year 2020/21 states, “All details of expenditures made by all levels of governments as well as other organizations for the prevention, control and treatment of coronavirus will be made transparent.’’
According to the OMPCP, it plans to make public all coronavirus-related expenditures regularly.
Though the OMPCP had said that it would release the expenditure details of the first four months (mid July- mid November) by November, it is still compiling the expenditure details.
OMPCP had earlier said that it would release the quadrimester spending details in Kartik (mid November), Falgun (mid March in 2021) and Asadh (mid July in 2021).
The government had pledged to disclose the expenditure details related to COVID-19 publicly amid growing calls for transparency about the spending.
The Ministry of Health and Population said that the government has already spent Rs 20.18 billion to battle the pandemic in the last eight months. However, the ministry did not provide the breakdowns of the expenditure figures.