Kathmandu, January 2
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has instructed ministers and secretaries to conduct regular monitoring of top priority projects (P1 projects) and introduce ‘carrot and stick’ policy targeting the project chiefs.
Addressing the meeting of National Development Action Committee (NDAC) — the prime minister-led mechanism — Premier Dahal urged expediting implementation of P1 projects citing there has been no significant progress when compared to the previous fiscal, which had retarded the economic growth of the country.
The prime minister sought commitment from the line ministries to spend 80 per cent of the allocated development budget in this fiscal.
Expressing concern at the slow-paced capital expenditure, PM Dahal said, “As we have envisioned moving towards higher growth trajectory to upgrade our status to a middle-income country by 2030, we have to fully implement the budget to achieve the desired results.”
Capital expenditure in the period of five-and-a-half months stood at just 8.89 per cent of the total allocation of Rs 311.95 billion for this fiscal, as per the Financial Comptroller General Office.
To break the trend of slow capital expenditure, the government had tabled the budget one-and-a-half months before the start of fiscal year calendar. However, the situation of last year has remained the same despite several efforts made to improve budget implementation. The capital expenditure was 56 per cent of total allocation in last fiscal despite unfavorable situation caused by the four-and-a-half month long disruptions in supply lines from India.
PM Dahal also urged high-level government officials to brainstorm on the effective ways to accelerate the budget implementation. “We have to think unconventionally to ramp up the capital expenditure,” prime minister said in the meeting.
During the meeting today, the prime minister also urged secretaries to include the timeline for project implementation in performance contracts and monitor them accordingly.
Prime minister expressed concerns over dismal progress of critical projects namely, Kathmandu-Tarai fast track, Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, Second International Airport in Nijgadh, West Seti Hydro Project and Postal Highway.
PM Dahal also expressed dissatisfaction at the post-earthquake reconstruction works and said that there hadn’t been any significant progress apart from the distribution of the first tranche of the government’s housing aid. “Individual houses being reconstructed might not meet the standards set by National Reconstruction Authority, but there is lack of monitoring,” he said. “At the current pace of reconstruction, we won’t be able to meet our set target of concluding the reconstruction works in the next four years.”
A version of this article appears in print on January 03, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.