Schedule to release grant may be deferred

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Finance (MoF) may defer the schedule of release of second instalment of the grant to local bodies due to lack of resources.

As per the provision of Appropriation Act, the government has to release the first instalment to local bodies in the beginning of the fiscal year, second in mid-November and third in mid-March. However, the MoF is planning to seek a special decision from the Cabinet to defer the schedule, according to MoF officials.

“We are planning to release grant based on the expenditure of local units,” said Finance Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikari.  The MoF has to release Rs 75 billion each in mid-November and mid-March, respectively, as it has released only first instalment of total grant worth Rs 225 billion for this fiscal to the local bodies.

“Though the government’s treasury surplus in mid-October stood at Rs 246 billion, we can utilise only Rs 78 billion as the rest is from the reconstruction fund and other fixed type of liabilities,” as per Adhikari.