Govt to give priority to previous year’s big projects in new budget: Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ministry

Published On: May 19, 2022 04:50 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 19: The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT) will not propose any new big projects in the fiscal year 2022-23. 

The MoPIT has said that it intends to prioritize finalizing the multi-year big projects that are already under construction rather than advancing new big projects. However, the ministry would announce a few small-budget new projects.

The National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance have set a budget ceiling of Rs 162 billion for the ministry for the upcoming fiscal year. The ceiling is an increase of six billion rupees from that set for the current fiscal year. The ministry has planned its project for the upcoming fiscal year in accordance with this. 

Shubha Raj Neupane, the Senior Division Engineer of the Planning Branch, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said that the ministry is proposing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year placing the East-West Highway and the Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road Project as a major priority. 

The MoPIT has proposed a budget of Rs 30 billion for the Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road Project for the upcoming fiscal year. However, Nepal Army has demanded resources equivalent to Rs 48.84 billion. 

Nepal Army estimates that the Fast Track project requires spending of 43.43 billion rupees in the upcoming fiscal year. Similarly, it estimates a budget of 39.02 billion for the project in the fiscal year 2024-25. Neupane said that the Ministry of Finance would be asked to make an additional budget available based on the portion of the budget that the project is able to spend in the budget of the upcoming fiscal year. 

The MoPIT has also proposed appropriate budget allocation to the Ministry of Finance for the East-West Highway, a project being carried out in partnership with the Asian Development Bank. 

In addition to this, the ministry has also proposed necessary budget allocation in the upcoming fiscal year for up-gradation projects such as Mugling-Pokhara, Kamala-Kanchanpur, Narayangadh-Butwal and Nagdhunga-Mugling Road Expansion and for national pride projects like Mid-Hills Pushpalal Highway and Terai Hulaki Marga that are dependent on physical infrastructures. 

The MoPIT had allocated a budget of Rs 156.62 billion for the current fiscal year. So far, the ministry has spent 35.34% of the budget on capital expenditures. The total spending of the ministry as of now stands at 38.61% of the budget. 

Neupane said that the war in Ukraine and the Construction Holiday of the construction dealers have, to some extent, contributed to the inadequate spending on capital expenditures in the current fiscal year. The ministry has said that it would give preference to studying the tunnel projects of the previous years rather than studying new tunnel projects in the upcoming fiscal year. 

“While new dealerships may not be handed over for new tunnel projects, the cost-benefit analysis of these projects may be assessed in the upcoming fiscal year,” he said. “Construction of the tunnel projects takes considerable cost which is why it is likely that the study work for these projects is to be taken forward.”


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