KATHMANDU, Dec 22: Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said that negligence on part of concerned authorities was the main reason behind the failure to mobilize capital expenses.
Speaking at the ministry on Friday at the progress review meeting of the past four months, Adhikari said that development projects under the ministry were lagging behind due to lack of effective planning and proper strategies for implementation.
“We have a habit of working at the last moment, which is a major setback for development projects,” he said. “Although the work progress is better compared to the previous progress report, budget mobilization is not satisfactory.”
He requested all concerned bodies under the ministry to work diligently to deliver long term results. “We have good planning but zero implantation,” he said. “We often fail to work to our full capacity.”
According to the Office of Auditor General, the tourism ministry has spent only 9.14 percent of total budget in the first four months of the current fiscal year.
Representatives from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission (NPC), who attended the review meeting on Friday, drew the attention of the ministry over budget mobilization and concrete planning and implantation strategies for projects.
At the meeting, tourism secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota requested all concerned authorities to mobilize at least 90 percent of the budget this fiscal year.
“All concerned authorities must be accountable toward budget expenditure,” he said. “Budget mobilization should be reflected on projects.”
Expressing his satisfaction with work progress of the first four months, secretary Devkota said that they were yet to work in full capacity.
Secretary Devkota also drew the attention of stakeholders toward increasing air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley.
“While focusing on building infrastructures environment issues are being ignored,” he said, “Air pollution and dust inside the valley is damaging the health of both the residents and tourists.”
Representatives from the Tourism Ministry and its subordinate bodies, NPC, and the Ministry of Finance participated in the meeting.
NAC TO OPERATE WIDE BODY AIRCRAFT IN FOUR NEW DESTINATIONS
Speaking at the review meeting of the first four months of the current Fiscal Year 2018/19, Madan Kharel, executive director of Nepal Airlines Corporation, said that the corporation was all set to operate the two new wide body aircraft in four new destinations from 2019.
“NAC is preparing to operate scheduled flight in Japan, China, Saudi Arab, and South Korea. We are preparing to operate commercial flights to Osaka in Japan from February 2019 and to Guangzhou in China from March,” he said. “Likewise, from April, we will be operating commercial flights to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia while flights to Seoul in South Korea will be operating from May.”
Both the wide body aircraft of Airbus A330-200 series will be operating in the four new destinations. “Once the airplanes start flying to new destinations, they will start generating income, which will help manage the cash flow of NAC,” Kharel said at the meeting.
He further argued that NAC was not making losses, rather it was under debt that would be cleared soon.
“As a national flag carrier NAC has to make itself strong enough to compete in the international market,” minister Adhikari added.