HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The government has taken serious exception to the fiat issued by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority regarding (mis)use of budget at the end of fiscal year.
The constitutional anti-graft body had issued a five-point directive yesterday calling on government and state bodies not to transfer amounts from one heading to another in order to use up the budget. “The CIAA has not only alerted the government to not make non-budgetary expenses but also has warned that making such expenses would amount to abuse of authority,” said Minister for Finance Barshaman Pun after today’s Cabinet meeting. “The CIAA cannot issue an order like this, as a ministry is authorised to transfer 25 per cent of budget, and additional 10 per cent of it with the consent from the National Planning Commission. The government has not crossed the limit.”
The finance minister said the government on several occasions has to make non-budgetary expenses. “For instance the government released Rs 4 billion to implement the peace process; it launched road expansion drive; it has provided Rs 1 million to the family of slain journalist Yadav Paudel; none of these were mentioned in the budget,” said Pun, claiming that the there was no law against spending money in such ways and that such practices were prevalent among the past governments as well. “The government will discuss with CIAA officials as to how it came up with such a directive,” he added.
The CIAA yesterday said its serious attention had been drawn to the misapplication of the budget and had issued a five-point directive to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, National Planning Commission and the Office of the Auditor General and finance, local development, education and irrigation ministries.
The CIAA has also directed state bodies not to execute any programme not listed in NPC and budget at the end of fiscal year. It also ordered them to refrain from launching a project if the tender process is found to be incomplete or a programme is found to be framed haphazardly. It had also directed the authorities not to divide budget for projects at the end of the fiscal, if it had not been divided earlier and asked not to disburse money to haphazardly framed projects and programmes in the name of people’s participation.