HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Finance Ministry has said that it is ready to facilitate in increasing capital expenditure for development projects.
“The ministry is ready to simplify constraints in priority projects,” said finance secretary Shantaraj Subedi during the evaluation meeting of budget ordinance. The meeting that has also evaluated Priority one and Priority two projects has also claimed that there will be no budget crunch for the priority projects.
Subedi stressed on giving priority to pro-people programmes like crops and livestock insurance, interest subsidy and youth self-reliant programmes. He asked project officers to submit progress report on time regularly. “It will be easier for the ministry to provide budget in time,” he said, adding that the capital expenditure has to be expedited.
In the meeting, secretary of Prime Minister Office and Council of Ministers Krishnahari Baskota urged to increase effectiveness of capital expenditure.
“We should reduce training and foreign visits in health and education sector and increase budget in pro-people programmes,” Baskota said, adding that the government can spend Rs 364 billion according to the need.
“Road linking Humla to other parts of the country is a must and it should have sufficient budget,” Baskota added.
Likewise, vice chair of National Planning Commission Deependra Bahadur Kshetry said that the commission is ready to support the government to meet development targets. “We will approve programmes in time,” Kshetry said, urging to contact top brasses directly, if any ministry faces
However, the caretaker government has been facing trouble to spend development budget that could generate employment and help develop infrastructure to fuel economic growth.
On the occasion, finance minister Barsha Man Pun said that the difficulties in implementation of the budget would be taken care of through immediate discussion.
“But, we have to give priority to programmes that would ease lives of people,” the finance
minister said, adding that matching fund for donor assisted
projects, national priority projects and multi-year contract
projects should also get priority immediately.
The finance minister also assured that the government will provide full budget to election, combatant reintegration, load-shedding reduction programme, and chemical fertiliser subsidy and road expansion.
He was surprised on inefficiency of ministries to spend even one-third development budget.
“Every ministry are claiming that they have budget crunch
but only Rs 66 billion has been spent — that is 41 per cent of
the total capital expenditure of Rs 161 billion — from development budget,” he said.
Ministry of Finance and National Planning Commission should work together to ease budget crunch and mobilise resources in priority programmes, Pun said. “Inter-ministerial problems could be solved from the coordination committee formed under chief secretary.”