Nepal | January 17, 2021

Follow austerity measures: MoFAGA

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
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KATHMANDU, JANUARY 12

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration today issued a circular to all local levels, directing them to strictly follow the ‘Standard for Maintaining Austerity Measures in Public Expenditure-2020’ in the mobilisation of their funds.

The government had recently issued the standard to revitalise the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic; increase expenditure for coronavirus infection prevention, control and treatment; and continue with the under-construction projects by maintaining austerity measures in public expenditure.

The MoFAGA issued the circular to the local units after the Budget and Programme Division at the Ministry of Finance wrote to the former, citing the urgency to implement the standard in the wake of more financial liabilities imposed on the government due to the pandemic.

“The local levels and their office-bearers and employees shall spend budget on office goods, stationery items, water, electricity and fuel for official purpose in a manner to maintain austerity measures,” the MoFAGA quoted the standard in the circular.

The local levels have also been told to publish their periodic report on their website instead of getting them printed out for information to the public. It is expected to reduce stationary expenses.

Similarly, there shall be no duplication in the programmes or projects to be co-financed by or operated in partnership with the Government of Nepal, provincial government and local level. If there is duplication in the operation of such programmes or projects, the MoF shall withhold them immediately.

“No local unit shall purchase furniture, fixtures and other equipment for existing offices. However, they may purchase these for offices to be newly established. Likewise, they are required to organise training, symposium, discussion, meeting and interaction online. If it is necessary to organise such programmes in the physical presence of participants, the concerned local level shall use its own meeting hall or public assembly hall.

Likewise, the local units have been prohibited from organising residential training, symposium or workshop with government resources or foreign loans. No employee, except office assistant and driver shall be hired on contract or daily wage basis with approval of the executive office.

The local levels shall not nominate any employee for observation visit training or study in foreign countries at the expense of government resources or foreign loans unless necessary and it must be approved by the concerned executive office.

The MoFAGA reminded the local levels that the standard had also discontinued uniform expenses, dearness allowance, overtime allowance, hazard allowance, special allowance and lunch or food allowance for officer-bearers and employees, except for health workers and doctors working on the frontline for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

Similarly, no vehicle shall be purchased at the expense of government resources or foreign loans. However, if it is very essential to purchase a vehicle, the concerned local level shall obtain the consent of its executive office. The vehicle may not be used outside the jurisdiction of the concerned local level without authority’s permission.

 


A version of this article appears in print on January 13, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.


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