House panel asks MoF to curb last-hour expenses

Kathmandu, October 7 

Due to the rampant expenses being incurred in the last month of every fiscal, the Finance Committee of the Federal Parliament has instructed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to curb the last-hour expenses, today.

Normally, for development projects the contractors start site mobilisation in the last quadrimester and receive payment at the end of the fiscal thus delivering substandard works. The development works that are completed in the last month of the fiscal year get payments without proper monitoring of the works.

The House panel today directed the MoF to spend 60 per cent of the earmarked budget by the second quadrimester and 90 per cent by mid-June and the remaining 10 per cent in the last month of the fiscal. The concerned District Treasury Offices release payments normally from the last quarter of the fiscal as the government's revenue collection peaks only after the first half.

Contractors are therefore not motivated to expedite the works early, as the government releases payments only at the end of the fiscal. The Parliamentary panel today has urged the government agencies responsible for the capital expenditure to complete the contract award process by mid-December.

The Finance Committee has also asked the MoF to submit the action plan of capital expenditure within 15 days by coordinating with the ministries/agencies responsible for capital expenditure. It has also urged for electronic payment and early payment to the contractors based on their performance.

The House panel has also given instruction to end the practice of rampant transfer of funds to the programmes that are not included in the budget and has asked the Finance Ministry to not release additional funds to those ministries that seek funds for non-budgetary programmes to improve the allocation efficiency.

For the effective implementation of the budget, the Finance Committee has urged the MoF to establish strong communication system, timely accounting and reporting system among the local, provincial and federal governments.