Unsettled spending up by 150 percent in local units

Published On: April 13, 2019 07:01 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 13: Unsettled expenditure of the local bodies has increased by a whopping 150 percent in the fiscal year 2017/18 to Rs 21.74 billion as compared to the previous year. 

With this, the total unsettled spending of the 753 local bodies has reached to around Rs 36 billion in just two years, according to the Office of the Auditor General. 

The constitutional body has audited bills worth Rs 571 billion of all the 753 local bodies. The average arrears of the province-wise local levels hover at 4.22 percent. 

The unsettled amount of Gandaki Province is the lowest at 2.7 percent while Province 2 has the highest unsettled amount of nearly 7 percent, according to the report. 

Unveiling the 56th audit report on Friday, Auditor General Tanka Mani Sharma said that most of the unaudited accounts are pay and perks, incentives among others received by executives of the local bodies without making laws. 

“The spending spree and conferences are also done without following due process while teachers in many cases have been paid twice,” added Sharma. 

The local levels have paid a total Rs 123 million to different schools, which is much more than the amount required to pay, the audit report said. 

Likewise, 320 local bodies have been found to have purchased goods worth Rs 2.05 billion directly without following the due process of procurement and without competitive bidding. 

The local bodies have also been found using the equalization grants for purchasing vehicles disregarding the instructions of the federal government along with grants, the OAG report has said but it has not specified the exact grant amount used in purchasing the vehicles. 

OAG’s sample auditing of local units has also found that 172 local units have purchased 210 -wheelers worth Rs 902 million for their executives. Likewise, a total of 221 local units have purchased 1,118 motorcycles worth Rs 291 million for their use. 

The OAG report has suggested the government to allocate budget to the local levels as per their work performance while it has suggesting curbing spending in unproductive sectors.

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