KATHMANDU, May 30: Ministry of Finance nows says the actual capital spending for the 10 months of the current fiscal years stood at Rs 38 billion or around 53 percent, up from earlier estimates which said only 35 percent of the total allocations may have been spent.
Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota said that the fresh data showed the government had already disbursed cash of Rs 28 billion and additional Rs 10 billion had been spent under commodity grant and kinds support of donors.
“The latest figures show encouraging trend. We plan to spend Rs 65 billion in capital spending by the end of this fiscal year,” said Baskota, speaking at a emergency meeting of MoF officials, including top officials from all the departments placed under MoF.
The government had initially set a target to spend Rs 72 billion in capital spending over this fiscal year, but after the initial slow pace of spending it had lowered the target to Rs 65 while conducting mid-term evaluation of the budget.
Referring that the latest political uncertainty has discouraged private sector and uncertainty in the market, Baskota also instructed the revenue officials not to take leave and remain focused on realizing the revenue collections target.
As of the first 10 months, the government mobilized Rs 190 billion in revenue, falling short of target set for the period by Rs 2 billion. In case the present impasse showed its impact on revenue administration, MoF top officials fear they might miss the collections target by a wider margin.
The MoF officials are also worried that the latest political affairs could affect foreign aid mobilization as well. Though the government had set a target to mobilize Rs 110 billion in foreign loans and grant, the MoF has so far managed to bring in only Rs 78 billion.
Given the situation, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun instructed the MoF officials not to be bogged down by the latest political turmoil. Instead, he asked them to work with high morale, encourage the private sector and work with more accountability.
“There is no parliament and parliamentary committee now to monitor the government´s activities. Hence, we must all work with strong sense of responsibility, sincerity and accountability. I instruct all of you to adhere to fundamental rules, financial norms and discipline and serve the country better,” said Pun.
For his part, Pun said he will not let the present sadness cast its shadow on the economy. “The overall economic operations and outlook will not be different even though political situation has changed and transition has prolonged,” he stated.
Pun also announced that the budget formulation process will continue in the normal pace. “The new budget will consider the sentiment of all and focus on wellbeing of all the communities,” said Pun.
Baskota added that the government would needs to announce the budget through ordinance, and asked the concerned authority to make necessary legal preparations for that. As for the fresh elections of constituent assembly, which has been announced for November 22, he said the Ministry has held discussions with the Election Commission on budget required for the purpose.