Budget surplus stands at Rs 51.72 billion due to low capital expenditure
Government treasury is surplus with Rs 51.72 billion – in the five months – due to low capital expenditure and timely budget for the current fiscal year 2013-14.
"Despite timely budget the line ministries have not been able to expedite the development works and lagging behind schedule making the government treasury swell by Rs 51.72 billion," said finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, addressing the secretaries of various ministries in a review meeting, of last five months of the current fiscal year, today the Finance Ministry.
However, all the programmes have been approved by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and the ministries have to expedite the capital spending that would bring the output, he said, adding that the incumbent government is ready to handover sound economy to the newly elected government soon after management of the political transition.
Asking the secretaries to increase inter-ministerial cooperation, he also urged the secretaries to own the programmes that were announced in the budget speech. "Boost the monitoring of the projects for the timely result."
The secretaries, on the occasion, complained of problem in land acquisition due to compensation dispute and delay by the contractors due to low bidding.
Around 16 national pride projects have not yet been able to sign performance contract, according to the Finance Ministry.
Despite timely budget in last five years, the low spending is sad, said senior economic advisor of the Finance Ministry Dr Chiranjivi Nepal.
"Without increase in capital expenditure, the government will not be able to achieve 5.5 per cent economic growth that has been targeted in the budget," he said, adding that employment creation and economic growth are dependent on capital expenditure.
Likewise, finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi, also stressed on boosting capital expenditure. "The ministries have to maintain financial discipline," he said, asking the secretaries to conduct internal accounting regularly to maintain financial discipline. "The foreign junkets have increased in the recent months, which has increased recurrent expenditures but the ministries have not been able to expedite capital expenditure."
Asking to reduce recurrent expenditure, he also urged the secretaries of the various line ministries to penealise, if necessary, and increase monitoring.
The ministries have to be careful while spending the tax paid by the people, said the head of the Budget Division under the Finance Ministry. "We have to be responsible and accountable to the people, who have paid tax," he said, adding that the spending has to be justified.