Government expenditure likely to be suspended


CPN-UML lawmakers continued to stall the proceedings of both the houses of representatives today accusing Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota of being complicit in the 'conspiracy' to split their party. Sapkota postponed the HoR meeting till September 20.

As soon as the Lower House commenced its proceedings of the day, UML lawmakers swarmed the well of the House and chanted slogans. Ignoring the main opposition party's protest in the House, Sapkota gave time to Finance Minister Janardan Sharma to present the Appropriation Bill.

Amidst the UML lawmakers' protest, the House passed Sharma's proposal to discuss the Appropriation Bill.

The budget ordinance that was brought by the KP Sharma Oli government on May 29 was presented in the Parliament on July 18. It needs to be passed within 60 days of being presented in the Parliament, meaning that it should be passed by tomorrow.

As there is no House session tomorrow, and there are certain procedures for passing the Appropriation Bill, the budget cannot be passed by tomorrow.

This means that the government will not be able to spend from the state treasury from tomorrow in the absence of the enactment of the Appropriation Bill.

Minister of Finance Janardan Sharma told mediapersons at the Parliament building today that government expenditure could be stopped for a few days. This is probably the first time that government expenditure is likely to be suspended due to the non-passage of the new fiscal budget within the stipulated time frame.

Sharma said the budget would be passed through due parliamentary procedures.

He claimed that there would be no hurdle in collecting revenue.

The government had brought a bill to replace the ordinance budget on September 10 amidst protest from UML lawmakers in the Parliament. If this bill is passed by the Parliament, that will address the current problems.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 15 2021, of The Himalayan Times.