KATHMANDU, Feb 17: Nepal received foreign assistance commitment worth Rs 110.85 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year. This is just about 32 percent of the annual budget.
According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), of the total amount, 93.82 percent was pledged for foreign loan while remaining 6.18 percent was the grant amount. The amount pledged during mid-July and mid-January this year in loan fell short by Rs 65.32 billion while the amount in grant was less by Rs 11.28 billion compared to the same period in the last fiscal year.
Overall, the pledged amount in foreign assistance was down by Rs 76.50 billion in the review period. According to a MoF official, the decline in foreign assistance has added pressure on the government to manage financial resources at a time when the government has been struggling to meet revenue collection targets amid additional expenses incurred due to adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has targeted to mobilize foreign assistance worth Rs 353 billion in the current fiscal year. The pledged amount, however, covers only 32 percent of the targeted amount. Citing a decline in commitment for foreign assistance, the government through the mid-term budget review has revised the targets, reducing the grant amount to Rs 50 billion from Rs 59.92 billion and foreign loans to Rs 206.46 billion from 293.09 billion.