KATHMANDU, March 16: The government has been able to spend only one-fourth of the budget allocated for development projects in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, revealing the perennial problem of the government to spend money under capital expenditure.
According to the record of the Financial Comptroller General Office, the government spent only Rs 79.69 billion during the review period. This accounts 22.58 percent of Rs 352.91 billion allocated in the capital expenditure.
The government statistics shows that the government makes out around 80 percent of the capital expenses every year. The statistics from the last five years shows that around 40 percent of the amount is usually spent in the last month of each fiscal year.
Although a provision has been made through the constitution to allow the government to announce the budget statement one and a half months in advance, the government has routinely been falling short of the target when it comes to capital expenditure. The rush for construction work in the last quarter of the fiscal year every time has raised questions about the quality of the infrastructures built during that time.
The government expresses its commitment to speed up the capital expenses on time, but ultimately lands on the unrewarding results almost every year. Even a two-third majority government led by KP Sharma Oli is no exception to this situation.
In the past three year, the government’s capital expenditure appeared dismal, which the officials at the Ministry of Finance blamed mostly to other government agencies for the slow process of awarding the contracts.
The revenue collection during the review period, however, appeared encouraging despite the fact that the country’s economy faced adverse effects of the coronavirus for almost four months of the current fiscal year. During mid-July and mid-March, the government’s revenue collection stood at Rs 253.25 billion, which is just around one percent less compared to the revenue collection target of Rs 255 billion for the period.