Govt makes yet another promise to use development expenditure allocated for next FY

Published On: June 13, 2023 09:30 AM NPT By: RAJESH KHANAL

“A work schedule has been prepared to make capital expenditure effective”

KATHMANDU, June 13: Every year, the government makes a promise to effectively utilize the funds allocated for development projects, while the actual utilization of the capital expenditure stands at hardly 70 percent.

Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Monday said the government has prepared a work schedule to effectively utilize the budget for the next fiscal year. Speaking at the budget session of the House of Representatives, Minister Mahat came up with another lofty assurance that can hardly be trusted.

Like every year, the government so far has spent a pretty low amount, even less than the amount spent on development projects last year. As of Monday, the government has spent only 39.14 percent of the capital expenditure.

Out of the Rs 308 billion allocated under capital expenditure, the government spent only Rs 148.89 billion over the past 10 months of the current fiscal year. It means the government needs to spend Rs 159 billion in just the next five weeks in order to meet its target of development-related activities.

Last year, the then finance minister Janardan Sharma promised to spend at least 10 percent of the allocated development budget every month for the current fiscal year. After assuming his post in January, former finance minister Bishnu Pradal Paudel also said that the government was carrying out homework to increase capital expenditure, which appeared meaningless.

Statistics show that the government has been spending 72 percent of the capital budget on average. Out of the over Rs 378 billion allocated for capital expenditure for the fiscal year 2021/22, the government had spent only Rs 216 billion, which was a mere 57.23 percent of the target.

Economists say that management problems at the bureaucratic level and structural problems are the main reasons behind the lackluster development expenditure. According to former finance secretary Rameshwar Khanal, apart from the poor procurement system, poor connection established between the provisions of the periodic plan and the development projects are among the reasons behind the slow capital expenditure.

The poor capital expenditure displays the state’s inability to use funds allocated under the prescribed headings. With slow capital expenditure, most of the government bodies speed up expenses mainly in the last month of every fiscal year, which has led to the poor quality of development works, economists say.  

Govt ready to revise tax rates based on actual figure of revenue collection by this fiscal year end: FinMin

Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat has said that the government is ready to revise the tax rates based on the actual figure of revenue mobilization by the end of the current fiscal year.

“The government has revised tax rates in a scientific manner, increased the tax bases and rationalized them in a meaningful way,” said Minister Mahat, answering the queries of the lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Monday. Mahat however said the government could revise tax structure under different subheads once their actual details are received.  


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