SURKHET, April 22: Karnali Province has managed to spend only 12 percent, or Rs 3.07 billion, of the allocated Rs 26.28 billion over the first nine months of Fiscal Year 2018/19.
The province has spent only Rs 1.13 billion of the recurrent budget and Rs 1.93 billion of capital budget so far.
Low spending figures of the province reflect the same trend of the federal government as well as other provincial governments.
Minister for Economic Affairs and Planning of Karnali Province Prakash Jwala attributed low spending to delay in the management of civil servants in the province. "The federal government managed employees for provincial governments and local units after first half of the fiscal year only," he said, adding: "Even after adjustment of civil servants, many were not interested to work in the Karnali province. This affected out spending as well as implementation of different projects."
As many term the province remote and underdeveloped due to lack of sufficient infrastructures, civil servants often do not choose this province. “We had hoped to expedite works in recent months, particularly after January. But several posts in public offices still remain vacant,” lamented Jwala.
Ministry of Social Development of the province has managed to spend 23.53 percent, or Rs 406 million, of the total allocation, while Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment has spent 21.26 percent, or Rs 414 million, of the allocated budget.
Similarly, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning and Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives spent only 15.85 percent and 9.26 percent of their total budget allocations. Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, which got the largest share of budget among ministries, has managed to spend only 5.35 percent of the total allocation.
To speed up spending, the province is planning to hire employees on contract basis.