National pride projects made little to no progress in first half of current FY
February 11, 2022 01:20 PM NPT
By: Himal Lamsal
KATHMANDU, Feb 11: The projects declared as national pride could not spend their budgets effectively, to say the least, according to the half-yearly evaluation and review report of the budget for the current fiscal year 2021\/2022 released by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday.
The government had allocated a total of Rs. 82.24 billion in the current fiscal year for the national pride projects through current and capital expenditures. In the past six months of the current fiscal year, the national pride projects have only spent Rs 11.62 billion.
The low spending by the national pride projects in the six months of the current fiscal year is a huge disappointment, despite them being multi-year projects.
The projects have made just 16.39 percent of financial progress in five months. The Upper-Tamakoshi Hydropower Project with a capacity of producing 456 MW of electricity has already come into operation this year. Meanwhile, the construction of the West Seti Hydropower Project has been delayed as the construction modality has not been prepared yet.
In the mid-term review report released by the finance ministry, it is stated that the use of budget has not been effective as there is no separate legal provision for the projects of national pride. It was also shared that the national pride projects could not move ahead as expected also because the roles, and responsibilities of the employees working for the projects have not been specified.
Meanwhile, work to distribute compensation for the construction of the Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project is currently underway. Similarly, the Pushpalal (mid-hill) Highway Project could spend just Rs 1.96 billion out of the allocated Rs 8.13 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year.
Likewise, the North-South Highway saw just 15.35 percent of progress. Of the Rs 1.11 billion allocated for the project, just Rs 129 million has been spent so far.
As for the Rs 2 .42 billion allocated for the North-South Highway so far, Rs 77 million has been spent.
On the other hand, the government failed to spend the budget allocated for the development of railways, metro, and monorail projects effectively in the first half of the current fiscal year. Of the Rs 6.53 billion allocated by the finance ministry so far, the project has only made financial progress of Rs 950 million (22 percent).
The Kathmandu-Terai/Madhesh fast track project, listed on the projects of national pride could spend just Rs 1.40 billion out of the allocated Rs 8.92 billion. The project saw just 16.9 percent of progress in the first six months of the current fiscal year.
The Government of Nepal has listed 25 projects as the national pride projects and has moved ahead with their construction.
The report released by the finance ministry also states that the projects should be listed in the national pride projects only after a thorough study, pre-planning, and regional balance in the country. It also suggested going ahead with the procurement process only after the implementation of measures for the resource mobilization, aid mobilization, and deciding modality and time frame.