Most of the ministries have failed to increase their capacity to spend capital budget but they demand more resources.
"The ministries have failed to spend capital expenditure," said finance secretary Krishnahari Baskota. "Of the total capital budget of Rs 72.61 billion that is meant for development works, the ministries have been able to spend only 30.87 per cent to Rs 22.42 billion by the end of eighth month," he said, adding that the trend has revealed that the ministries have low capacity to spend on development works.
If the government spending on development works could not be expedited, it would hit overall economic activities. "The spending on development works will not only create employment but brings dynamism in the economy," the finance secretary said, adding that the government has — during the mid-term evaluation of the budget for the current fiscal year — projected the capital spending to come down to Rs 65 billion from the total capital expenditure of Rs 72.61 billion mentioned in the budget for the current fiscal year.
According to a report of a committee led by Constituent Assembly member Narayan Dahal, the government must spend 60 per cent of the capital expenditure by the end of ninth month, and the remaining 30 per cent should be spent in the remaining three months of the fiscal year, and that too, in the last month, the government could not spend more than 20 per cent. "The committee has prescribed the ceiling of expenses to check misuse of the budget by spending on the last month without productivity," Baskota claimed.
However, the tradition has it that the government spends the entire remaining budget in the last month without any productivity.
There are eight ministries — education, local development, physical planning and construction, health, home, defence, agriculture and irrigation — that have budget of over Rs 10 billion. Similarly, some 13 ministries have budget of over Rs 1 billion.
Among the 13 ministries that have over Rs 1 billion budget, the Foreign Ministry has spent 37.24 per cent of its capital expenditure on cash basis and the Office of the Prime Minister has spent the least at 0.08 per cent of its capital expenses on cash basis, according to the latest data of the Finance Ministry.