Capital spending at 13.72pc

Kathmandu, January 15

The government has managed to spend merely 13.72 per cent of the allocated capital budget in the first half of 2019-20, clearly indicating its failure to expedite project works and development.

As per the statistics of the Financial Comptroller General Office, the government managed to spend only Rs 58.39 billion till mid-January, out of the Rs 408 billion allocated under capital expenditure for the current fiscal. While the capital expenditure in first half of last fiscal had stood at over 14 per cent, development spending in the same period of fiscal 2017- 18 had been recorded at more than 16 per cent.

The government had expressed its commitment to improve budget spending this fiscal, defending the tepid spending in the previous years stating that it was busy forming necessary regulatory frameworks.

However, the plague of low capital spending has continued even this year, which might also affect the government’s economic growth target of 8.5 per cent in the ongoing fiscal year.

Economist Biswo Poudel said that the trend of low capital spending of the government is not going to change unless it adopts proper budget planning and implementation mechanism from the initial months of the fiscal year. “Project planning and implementation should also be closely monitored to ensure effective budget spending,” said Poudel.

Meanwhile, the government’s total budget spending, including capital, financing and recurrent expenditure, during the review period stood at 25.81 per cent of the total budget of Rs 1.53 trillion for the ongoing fiscal.

The government has spent Rs 309.5 billion (32.35 per cent) as recurrent expenditure of the total allocated Rs 957 billion during the review period. Similarly, the government has been able to spend Rs 27.69 billion (16.5 per cent) on financing till mid-January, out of the total allocated budget of Rs 167.8 billion under the given heading for the ongoing fiscal.