Nepal | May 28, 2020

Govt fails to spend even revised budget

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, July 17

The government has failed to spend the revised estimate of the budget in the previous fiscal 2017-18, shows a report of the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO).

The government had spent 83.86 per cent of the appropriated budget in the beginning of the fiscal and 99 per cent of the revised estimate during the half-yearly review of the budget. The mid-term review of the budget 2017-18 had brought down the expenditure target to Rs 1,082.99 billion or 84.67 per cent of the budget unveiled in the beginning of the fiscal. The government had brought a budget of Rs 1,278.99 billion in the previous fiscal.

According to FCGO, 86 per cent of the appropriated recurrent expenditure was spent in the last fiscal. The government had allocated Rs 803.53 billion under recurrent expenditure, which goes on salary and allowance of the civil servants and grants to the universities and lower layers of administration.

Capital expenditure — the budget that goes for development works — was also low at below 80 per cent of the allocation worth Rs 335.18 billion. The government had reduced the capital expenditure target by Rs 100.56 billion during the mid-term review. It was able to surpass the revised estimates with expenses standing at Rs 267.25 billion.

Likewise, the government spent Rs 109.65 billion under financing heading out of allocated amount of Rs 140.29 billion and revised estimate of Rs 109.42 billion. The fund allocated under the finance heading is spent in repayment of principal and interest of foreign loans and also as government’s investment in public corporations.

The government issued payments worth Rs 14.63 billion — Rs 12.1 billion under capital budget, Rs 2.19 billion under recurrent expenses and Rs 367.06 million under the financing heading — in the last day of the previous fiscal. “The amount of payments issued on last day of the fiscal was significant, which is against the principle of prudent practice in public finance,” said a high-ranking official of Office of Auditor General.

Likewise, revenue collection overshot the target in the previous fiscal 2017-18. The government had set a target to collect Rs 730.05 billion in the last fiscal, while the collection stood at Rs 731.37 billion, which was 100.18 per cent of the target, according to FCGO.

However, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has said that the government should not feel proud of collecting more revenue than the given target, when public expenditure — mainly on infrastructure development — remains low. “The overall execution of the budget is dismal and we have to improve this situation to accelerate growth and uplift the living standards of people.”

Quick look

Heading Appropriated budget Revised estimate Actual spending
Recurrent Rs 803.53bn Rs 738bn Rs 696.26bn
Capital Rs 335.18bn Rs 234.62bn Rs 267.25bn
Financing Rs 140.29bn Rs 109.42bn Rs 109.65bn
Total Rs 1,278.99bn Rs 1,082.99bn Rs 1,073.16bn

A version of this article appears in print on July 18, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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