The budget of the projects with mandatory obligation and prior consent would not be reduced
KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 09
The government has reduced the budget size for the current fiscal year 2020-21 by around nine per cent.
Organising a press meet today for the half-yearly budget review, the Ministry of Finance announced that the budget size for the current fiscal has been revised downward to Rs 1,344.68 billion from the earlier announced budget of Rs 1,474.64 billion.
The government has decided to reduce the budget size in view of the expenditures of the first six months (mid-July to mid-January) of the current fiscal year.
According to Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel, the government has revised the budget and included all the expenses of the upcoming election and COVID-19 vaccination costs.
He said the budget of the projects with mandatory obligation and prior consent would not be reduced.
He acknowledged that the target of seven per cent economic growth rate mentioned in the budget was not likely to be met and the country would only witness average growth this fiscal year. However, the revised growth target has not been set yet and according to Paudel, the Central Statistics Bureau will announce the revised target in the near future.
Finance Secretary Shishir Kumar Dhungana said the budget allocated for projects with nil progress in the first half of the fiscal would be transferred towards election expenses.
He said all the expenses for elections would not be covered through the allocation for recurrent budget.
During the press meet, Finance Minister Paudel said Rs 7 billion would be released to hold elections.
As per the revised budget, the government has allocated Rs 914.78 billion for recurrent expenses, 96.40 per cent of earlier allocation of Rs 948.94 billion; Rs 283.04 billion for capital expenditure, 80.20 per cent of earlier allocation of Rs 352.92 billion; and Rs 146.86 billion towards financing, around 85 per cent of the previous allocation of Rs 172.79 billion.
As per the revised budget, the government has set the target of collecting revenue of Rs 1,074.68 billion through taxes and internal loans, Rs 35 billion from foreign aid, and Rs 235 billion from foreign loan.
A version of this article appears in the print on February 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.