Why is government hiding revenue information for two weeks?

Published On: January 31, 2019 11:26 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

An estimated Rs 100 billion was duplicated in the account

KATHMANDU, Jan 31: The government has not released its revenue collection figures for the last two weeks citing a formula error on sharing revenue among local levels, provinces and federal government. It is an excuse that tells very little about the delay in calculating revenue collection. 

Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), the agency that keeps government’s account, has not made public the revenue figures after January 14, or the last day of the first half fiscal year. 

The office keeps track of real time updates of revenue collection, including divisible revenue among three tiers of governments and daily spending figures from across the country, and posts the accumulated amount in its website at the end of business every day. 

The last updated record for January 14 shows that the revenue collection was Rs 520 billion-Rs 244 billion of federal government’s revenue and Rs 275 billion collected in divisible fund till that date. 

The revenue figure however was almost Rs 100 billion more than the calculation, a source at the FCGO claimed.

When the FCGO found higher than real figure in the balance, it stopped publishing the revenue figure. Technicians had tried to fix the problem recently, but they failed to do so, said a source at FCGO.

The daily update of January 14 meant that the revenue collection reached 55 percent of the target in the first half of the year, while the real amount should be around 42 percent of the target, or a shortfall by 3 percentage points. The government had targeted 45 percent revenue collection, or Rs 429 billion, by the end of the first half of fiscal year. 

FCGO spokesperson Jagannath Devkota denied any deliberate hiding of information. “This happened because of some error in reporting and compilation of data. It will be duly updated very soon,” Devkota said. 

The FCGO stopped publishing the revenue collection data from the very first day or Jan 15 of the second half of the fiscal year but it has not yet maintained the record till Tuesday. The government had targeted the total annual revenue collection at Rs 945 billion.

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