The government has failed to spend on development activities — according to its estimations — despite the timely budget this fiscal year.
"The Finance Ministry had projected to spend around Rs 65 billion out of the total capital budget of Rs 72.61, but by the end of the third quarter, the government has been able to spend only 34.1 per cent amounting to Rs 24.78 billion," said finance secretary Krishna Hari Baskota, adding that the central bank's data revealed that expenditure of Rs 22.11 billion — on cash basis — and Rs 2.67 billion — on non-cash basis that includes commodity grant and direct payment from donors — has been recorded.
Of the total budget outlay of Rs 384.90 billion for the current fiscal year, Rs 345.22 billion is cash budget and Rs 39.68 billion comes under non-cash grants, and direct payments from donors.
The minimal spending of non-cash budget is also serious, he said, adding that by the end of nine months of the current fiscal year, only 6.7 per cent amounting to Rs 2.67 billion of the non-cash budget has been spent out of the total of Rs 39.68 billion.
Some records of expenses may not have been received from the district bureaus of the Financial Comptroller General Office and donors as Nepal has been working with around 40 bilateral and multilateral donors, added Baskota.
Despite the timely budget, the ministries have been unable to spend the development expenses, which is hitting local employment generation. Had the ministries been able to spend their capital budget, there would have been more employment generated at the local level, which could have fuelled economic activities, the finance secretary said, adding that the secretaries of the various ministries have promised to expedite the spending of the development budget at the review meeting last week.
However, 63 per cent amounting to Rs 159.10 billion of recurrent expenditure, which is administrative expenses including salary, has been spent, out of the total of Rs 254.49 billion, said Baskota. "Similarly, 55 per cent amounting to Rs 17.99 billion of the budget under financial management has also been spent, out of the total of Rs 32.50 billion."
"The government has been able to spend a total of Rs 201.87 billion — including capital budget, recurrent budget and budget under financial management by the end of Chaitra — that is 52.5 per cent of the total budget outlay of Rs 384.90 billion,” Baskota added.
Ministry — Expenses percentage
Physical Planning — 25 per cent
Irrigation — 41 per cent
Local Development — 20 per cent
Health — 25 per cent
Home — 22 per cent
Defence — 32 per cent
Forestry — 23 per cent
Peace and Reconstruction — 21 per cent
Agriculture — 17 per cent
(Figures in per cent of the ministries with over billion rupees capital budget. Source: Finance Ministry)