Kathmandu, February 12
Owing to the failure of the government to boost capital spending, the Ministry of Finance has revised downward the budget size for the ongoing fiscal year by Rs 147 billion.
Unveiling the mid-term review report of the budget for fiscal year 2019-20 today, Minister for Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada informed that the budget has been revised down to Rs 1.385 trillion with estimation that 90.4 per cent of the budget for this fiscal will be spent.
On May last year, the government had presented a federal budget of Rs 1.532 trillion for fiscal 2019-20.
Khatiwada has revised down the budget structure for the second consecutive year as budget spending has remained lethargic even this year. The government managed to spend merely Rs 422 billion or 27.6 per cent of the allocated budget for fiscal year 2019-20 in the first half.
Khatiwada informed that the government has managed to spend 309 billion or 32.4 per cent of allocated recurrent budget in the first half of 2019-20.
Similarly, Rs 62.76 billion or 15.4 per cent of allocated capital budget for this fiscal year has been spent in the six months, while Rs 50.17 billion or 29.9 per cent of the allocated budget under financing has been spent.
Following the downward revision of the budget size, the government has set the target of spending Rs 904 billion or 94.5 per cent of the allocated budget for recurrent expenditure for this fiscal.
The recurrent expenditure is primarily the spending of the government on non-capital formation programmes such as salaries of the government staffers, social security and other expenses.
Similarly, the ministry expects Rs 326 billion or 80.1 per cent of the allocated capital budget to be spent by the end of this fiscal year.
The government has projected that Rs 154 billion or 92.2 per cent of budget under financing will be spent by the end of 2019-20 fiscal year.
Addressing a press conference, Minister Khatiwada claimed that economic indicators of the country in the first half of 2019-20 were positive and the government would still meet the growth and inflation target for the current fiscal year.
The government has set economic growth target of 8.5 per cent and aims to keep inflation under six per cent this fiscal. However, average inflation stood at 6.4 per cent in the first half of 2019-20 against 4.2 per cent in the same period of previous year.
A version of this article appears in print on February 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.