KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 22
Even though the Finance Ministry has been issuing the budget implementation guidelines for the effective implementation of the budget, the government has not been able to expedite the spending of capital budget. Apart from the prevailing hurdles of budget execution, the COVID-19 pandemic has further impeded capital expenditure this fiscal, as per ministry officials.
In the first four months of the current fiscal year (mid-July to mid-November), merely 8.34 per cent (Rs 29.45 billion) of the total Rs 352.92 billion budget allocated for capital expenditure for the current fiscal year has been spent, according to statistics maintained by the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO).
Citing that the capital expenditure this fiscal has been affected by the COV- ID-19 and the difficult situation created by the pandemic, Dhani Ram Sharma, chief of Budget and Programme Division at Ministry of Finance said, “The lockdown and difficulty in mobility since individuals infected with COVID-19 have to stay in weeks-long quarantine have affected development works and subsequently capital expenditure.”
“Since the COVID-19 has affected literally all economic activities capital expenditure also has taken a hit,” he said, adding, “However, we have been urging the line ministries for timely execution and accomplishment of development projects every year but they have to address the existing problems themselves to expedite capital expenditure.”
Although the capital expenditure during the first four months of the current fiscal year has increased compared to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, spending of only around eight per cent of the capital budget in four months is not satisfactory.
“This can also not be termed as growth in capital expenditure as the amount may have increased due to the payments made to contractors for development projects which had not been completed in the last fiscal due to