Friday, April 12, 2019

Arrears of government agencies rise by 36.7 per cent

Though, all arrears donot mean all the public money misused, the government arrears has increased by 36.7 per cent or by over Rs 183 billion in the last fiscal year 2017-18.
According to the 56th annual report of Office of the Auditor General (OAG) – handed over to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari by Auditor General Tankamani Sharma today – the unsettled amount of government agencies including federal government, provincial government offices, local government offices, district coordination committees and other organisations touched Rs 683 billion – till the last fiscal year 2017-18 – which is more than half of the budget for the current fiscal year. "Such arrears stood at Rs 500 billion till 2016-17," the report reveals.
This year, the OAG did auditing of 6,644 offices in the three tiers of the governments. "The total unsettled amount among federal government agencies stood at Rs 106 billion, which is 5.29 per cent of the audited amount of the federal government agencies," according to the report that reveals that arrears among provincial government agencies stood at Rs 190 million, which is 7.25 per cent of the total audited amount of provincial government agencies. "The OAG had carried auditing of government agencies in 747 local units out of 753 units, and local government agencies arrears stood at Rs 24 billion, which is 4.22 per cent of the total audited amount among local government agencies."
The arrears of different district coordination committees (DDCs) and other committees stood at Rs 10 billion.
Though, the Financial Procedures Act clearly directs to settle arrears within 35 days of getting official reminder but some of the government officials never take it seriously. Every year, the OAG produces the report and submits it to the the President within the nine months of the next fiscal year. The President sends the report to the Parliament for discussion and clear the arrears. The annual report is widely discussed in the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) and some of the amount is also settled. But the PAC also fails to settle all the arrears, which is increasing with every passing year. 

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