Sick projects will not get budget from next fiscal

Kathmandu, March 1

The government has said that it will not entertain those projects which are sick and do not meet the construction completion deadline. It has said such projects will not receive any budget from next fiscal year.

Drafting the budget allocation directives for fiscal year 2020-21, the National Planning Commission (NPC) has proposed that those projects whose completion deadline has expired or those that have not yet fixed the completion schedule will not receive budget in next fiscal year.

In addition, directives state projects, which are being financed by both government and through foreign assistance for a specific purpose, should be completely suspended if they miss construction deadline.

As per the directives, ministries, agencies and departments under the federal government will not be able to seek budget for such sick projects when fiscal budget is being prepared.

The apex planning body of the country has stated that there are thousands of projects that are sick and have not been completed on time. However, there is no exact data on the number of such projects.

Meanwhile, NPC has also said that the provision to transfer projects that were earlier under the jurisdiction of the federal government but have been institutionalised at the provincial or local level should be given continuity in the upcoming budget.

Many projects that were initially started by the federal government have been stalled at present due to the unwillingness of the central government to transfer them to the sub-national governments and also due to the sub-national governments refusing to take ownership of such projects citing lack of resources and capacity to run them.

The directives also state that if the sub-national governments want to take ownership of projects that were initially started by the federal government then the concerned subnational governments will have to themselves mandatorily allocate the budget for such projects.

Meanwhile, the provincial and local governments have now been assigned the responsibility to reprioritise and operate projects/programmes that were not in operation in the past. “If they wish, they will be able to continue those projects through their own budget,” the directives state, adding, the projects and programmes shall be selected at the local level based on the need of the respective local level.

The government also has plans to discourage the trend of allocating low budget to projects from the upcoming budget. According to the NPC, projects and programmes that have not been approved for a long time will be re-prioritised.

The directives have also proposed the concerned ministries, departments and local level authorities to avoid duplication of programmes so that budget can be disbursed to other necessary projects.

Moreover, NPC has urged the concerned bodies to draft the budget in such a manner that national pride projects and national priority projects are ensured with minimum budget resources. Additionally, projects worth Rs 500 million or more to be implemented by federal government have to be compulsorily submitted at the national project bank or else project will not get any budget.