Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cumulative questionable expenses rise to half of last current fiscal year's budget

As a sign of rising financial indiscipline of the government, the country's cumulative questionable expenses — till last fiscal year since fiscal year 2003-04 — has increased to more than half of the current fiscal year's budget.
The cumulative questionable expenses of the government, various committees including District Development Committees (DDCs), and public enterprises stood at Rs 204.26 billion till the last fiscal year, whereas the current fiscal year's budget stands at Rs 404.82 billion.
However, the questionable expenses of last fiscal year 2011-12 only stood at Rs 35.80 billion, according to the last fiscal year's Auditor General's report presented today to the President Dr Ram Baran Yadav by the acting Auditor General Bimala Subedi.
"The questionable expenses have increased by 12.94 per cent in the last fiscal year compared to a fiscal year ago," said deputy auditor general Mohadatta Timilisina.
"The amount of Rs 204.26 billion is only an indicative figure as the actual questionable expenses will be much higher, if the performance audit is done," he said, adding that questionable policy measures cannot be monitised. "Only recoverable accounts, need to regularise accounts and unsettled advances accounts come under the questionable expenses."
The government itself is promoting financial impunity and encouraging financial indiscipline, he added.
According to the report, some five ministries have contributed 61.91 per cent to the total questionable expenses of last fiscal year.
"Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport's questionable expenses stood at Rs 5.36 billion, seconded by Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (Rs 3.54 billion), and Ministry of Education (Rs 3.27 billion), Ministry of Finance (Rs 3.17 billion) and Ministry of Urban Development (Rs 1.98 billion) making a total of Rs 17.32 billion that is some 61.91 per cent of the total questionable expenses among the government agencies..
The total questionable expenses — for the last fiscal year — of the government agencies only stood at Rs 27.97 billion, whereas Rs 7.11 billion is contributed by various committees including DDCs, and other public entities, according to the report.
The president will hand over the report to be tabled in the Parliament, where it is discussed to make the government accountable to the people. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the parliament scrutinises the report further.
But due to lack of parliament since last May 28, the Auditor General's report of the fiscal year 2010-11 also has not been tabled in the parliament, let alone the last fiscal year 2011-12's report that is the 50th report of the Auditor General.
However, once the Auditor General publishes its report, the responsibility of settling the questionable expenses rests with the respective government agencies themselves within the 35 days, according to the law.
They can however, ask for more time to settle the questionable expenses. "However, not a single government agencies and other public enterprise have asked for time extension and no one has been penelised till date, which is a cause for rising financial indiscipline," Timilisina added.

The largest offenders among the government agencies
Ministry —
Questionable Expenses — Per cent in total
Physical Infrastructure and Transport — Rs 5.36 billion — 19.15 per cent
Federal Affairs and Local Development — Rs 3.54 billion — 12.66 per cent
Education — Rs 3.27 billion — 11.70 per cent
Finance — Rs 3.17 billion — 11.32 per cent
Urban Development — Rs 1.98 billion — 7.08 per cent
Total — Rs 17.32 billion — 61.91 per cent
(Source: Office of Auditor General's report 2069)

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