POKHARA, March 20: Budget spending by Gandaki Province has remained disappointingly low till the first eight months of the current fiscal year.
Though the province had aimed to spend at least 70 percent of the total budget by the end of the fiscal year i.e. mid-July, it has managed to spend around 9 percent of the total allocations so far.
The provincial government has tabled a budget of Rs 24.2 billion for Fiscal Year 2018/19.
Mukti Prasad Pandey, Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning of Gandaki Province, said that the provincial budget has managed to spend only Rs 2.7 billion so far. “It seems that we will miss the spending target in this fiscal year,” he said, adding: “This will eventually result in hasty and substandard development work at the eleventh hour.”
Of the total spending made so far, Rs 1.6 billion is from recurrent budget, while remaining Rs 1.6 billion is from development budget.
The province has allocated Rs 6.9 billion for recurrent budget and Rs 15.9 billion for capital expenditure for FY2018/19.
According to the provincial government, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning has spent the highest, while Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Development has the poorest spending performance.
Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning of Gandaki Province Kiran Gurung blamed lack of means and resources for poor spending. “Confusion in implementation of federal setup, lack of good plans, and workforce are some of the factors that affected government spending,” Minister Gurung said, adding: “But spending figures can improve as we have few more months left.”
He further added that it won’t be difficult to meet spending targets once development activities gain momentum.