Sunday, May 20, 2012

Size of budget pushes revenue target up: FM Pun

The last minute increase in the size of the budget for the current fiscal year has put pressure on the revenue target.
"Due to various priority projects in the current fiscal policy, its size has increased putting pressure on revenue target," according to finance minister Barshaman Pun.
Addressing the media after joining the ministry for the second time today afternoon, he claimed that the government will however, meet the revenue target of Rs 241.73 billion despite the pressure.
The government has been able to mobilise Rs 190.08 billion — by the end of Baishakh (mid-May) — which is 19.6 per cent increment compared to the same month of the last fiscal year, though it had set Rs 192 billion target for the tenth month. "The shortfall of Rs 2 billion could be managed from various sources," he said, blaming the political transition for the increase in the size of the budget.
The government had announced Rs 384.9 billion budget for the current fiscal year. The government must mobilise around Rs 50 billion in the remaining two months of the current fiscal year to meet the target of Rs 241.77 billion revenue.
Though, the revenue mobilisation seemed looking up — compared to the last fiscal year — giving the government a confidence that it could meet the revenue target for the current fiscal year — unlike the last fiscal year, when it could not meet the target — the series of strikes across the country in recent days might hit the revenue target, Pun added.
In the last fiscal year, the government had been able to mobilise Rs 200.55 billion revenue, which was only 92.57 per cent of its target of Rs 216.64 billion. The government has failed to meet customs, VAT, excise, vehicle tax, registration fee tax and education tax target, whereas it exceeded the income tax target. The multi-billion rupees VAT fraud had also hit the revenue mobilisation target last fiscal year.
Similarly, Pun also promised to announce budget on time. "We will work on to bring budget on time," he said adding that reform in financial administration, increase in capital expenditure and meeting revenue target are some of his priorities.
Though, the capital expenditure has seen an increment this fiscal year, compared to the last fiscal year, the government has been able to spend only half of the development budget. "The development budget should be expedited to create employment and support the growth," Pun said, adding that the government will bring a permanent mechanism like 'Price Stabilisation Fund' to check the rising petroleum products prices as the ailing Nepal Oil Corporation has been eating up the development expenditures.

Rs 8 billion budget transfer
KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Barshaman Pun said that the government has transferred Rs 8 billion budget from one head to another. "Some Rs 4 billion was transferred for the Army integration process, that is the key aspect of the peace process," he said, adding that Rs 2.5 billion has also been transferred to the local development. The Public Accounts Committee under the Legislature Parliament and CIAA both had directed Finance Ministry not to transfer budget. But Pun claimed that the transfer is according to law.


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