PM directs ministers, secretaries to boost development spending

Published On: January 3, 2017 09:38 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 3: Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal on Monday directed the government officials and ministers to expedite development spending. 

Addressing the ministers and secretaries of various ministries during the meeting of National Development Action Committee (NDAC) on Monday, Dahal asked them to spend at least 80 percent of the development budget.

Accepting the government’s apathy toward development work, he also directed the ministers and secretaries to prepare unified development plans and implement them accordingly to show the outcomes. Dahal also directed them to come out with a concrete plan, to complete the national pride projects, within a month. 

The Prime Minister also asked them to prepare criteria for qualifying projects as national pride projects.

“If the bureaucracy continues to follow its traditional approach toward development works, we are not going to get any outcome,” he said, asking them to change their working culture.

Speaking at the meeting, the secretaries of various ministries updated PM Dahal on the progress of development projects being implemented under them.

Earlier in September, PM Dahal had said that he would personally monitor the implementation status of national pride projects. Addressing the NDAC meeting, Dahal had said that he would prepare the schedule for implementation of concerned projects and monitor their progress.

His instructions, however, failed to speed up development spending. The government has, according to the Financial Comptroller General’s Office (FCGO), been able to spend only 8.89 percent of the total capital budget by Sunday. 

The first half of fiscal year is ending in mid-January

Of the total development budget of Rs 311.94 billion, the government has been able to spend only Rs 27.71 billion by Sunday, according to the FCGO. Of the total budget of Rs 1048.92 billion, the government has managed spend only Rs 232.85 billion by Sunday. 

While the government has not been able to spend, revenue mobilization has been exceeding the target. As a result, the government treasury is ballooning. The government is sitting on a cash pile which is neither being productive, nor contributing to the economy. Had the government been able to spend, the private sector would have felt encouraged to spend, resulting in capital formation. However, the bulging treasury caused by the government’s inefficiency will hurt the economic growth and slow down capital formation in the coming fiscal years too.

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