Will govt be able to bring supplementary budget?

Kathmandu, November 14

The ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre has been planning to introduce supplementary budget, but is yet to take coalition partners into confidence.

Supplementary budget is one of the prime agendas of the ruling party that was reflected in Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s address to the nation from the Parliament on September 8.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara has interacted with the National Planning Commission and finance ministry teams on availability of resources to bring supplementary budget, but there has been no headway in this regard till date.

“A few rounds of interactions related to the supplementary budget have been held in the finance ministry, but we have not been directed to prepare supplementary budget yet,” Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi told THT. “The ministry will prepare the budget within a week after receiving instructions for the same from the government.”

The ruling party has been trying to convince coalition partners that supplementary budget is required to implement priorities announced by the prime minister and also to distribute second instalment of the government’s aid to earthquake survivors for individual house reconstruction.

Recently, the government announced that the grant amount to the earthquake survivors would be increased and Rs 150,000 has been proposed as the second instalment of the aid for reconstruction of damaged houses.

The budget by CPN-UML-led government has allocated funds to provide only Rs 80,000 as second instalment of aid for quake victims.

“CPN-MC has not held any discussion with NC to bring supplementary budget. I don’t think supplementary budget is the need of hour,” said former finance minister and NC leader Ram Sharan Mahat. “Instead of bringing a supplementary budget, the government should focus on implementing the budget.”

There has been dismal progress in budget implementation, with capital expenditure standing at mere 3.42 per cent of the total allocation of Rs 311.95 billion till the first quarter of this fiscal.

Finance ministry sources claim delay in approval of the programmes from NPC is affecting timely implementation of the projects.

NPC Vice-chairman Min Bahadur Shrestha said formulation of supplementary budget was the responsibility of MoF and the resource committee led by him was only consulted during preparation of supplementary budget.

“We have not been informed about formulation of supplementary budget,” Shrestha said, adding that the resource committee would need to give its approval before a supplementary budget can be introduced.