KATHMANDU, March 10: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has directed officials to increase the capital expenditure to 90 percent in the current fiscal year 2021/22.
Speaking at a program organized at the Ministry of Finance to review the budgets of 10 ministries with high capital budget allocation till March 8, Finance Minister Sharma directed the officials to implement the budget accordingly as it aims to spend 90 percent of the capital through mid-term review.
"While the mid-term review of the budget had set a target of 90 percent capital expenditure, it seems like the target won’t be met,” he said, "I am concerned that this target will not be met, but so far nothing has gone wrong. Let's all try. Doing so will not make it difficult for us to reach the goal.”
He also pledged that the Ministry of Finance would extend all possible assistance to increase the capital expenditure to 90 percent. “The ministries, which have a large capital budget, have spent less and would not be able to make significant capital expenditure by the end of the year.”
Minister Sharma said that it was a matter of concern that the progress of the ministries with high capital expenditure was not satisfactory. “The ministries with low capital expenditure allocations have seen a very high percentage of progress but the ministries with the responsibility of increasing the capital expenditure have not been able to spend. This is a matter of concern," he said.
He said that the ministry has been implementing government investment projects, foreign resource projects and small projects in the budget but the people have not been able to experience development as the small projects have been ignored.
“Small-scale projects can be important to the public. We should not ignore such projects,” he said.
Some ministries have said that the implementation of the budget program has not been understood yet, which has made implementation complex. “Some ministries still have not understood the budget program. Two-year programs have been included in the one-year plan,” he said.
Finance Minister Sharma said that most of the ministries were involved in the budget program and the work to be done by the local level or the provinces was included in the federal budget. “The program is designed to be implemented at the provincial and local levels, but the budget is in the federal ministry. Why do this?” He asked. He said that he had the experience that the federal ministry would take up to six months to formulate working procedures after keeping the budget with it and would not give the budget to the local level and the provinces to work.