Capital spending not more than 50 per cent: Minister Mahat

Capital spending not more than 50 per cent: Minister Mahat

The government finds it challenging to spend budget rather than resource management. There are some challenges in budget spending though resource management is not a tough job," according to Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat. Addressing a programme jointly organised by BP Thought Academy and Society for Humanism Nepal on post-quake recovery, Mahat said that the trend of failure in implementing the budget should end from the administrative front. "The current fiscal year has almost come to an end," he said, adding that most of the ministries have yet not been able to spend 50 per cent of the capital expenditure. "It is disappointing." Mahat also said that the ministries’ governance capacity had decreased in recent years which could pose challenge in the reconstruction and rebuilding efforts. Saying that preparation of international donors' meet – being organised on June 25 to raise fund for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the earthquake-damaged properties – has almost completed, Mahat said that the government would create a powerful and autonomous authority to handle the challenges of reconstruction, soon. "The government has already prepared Post Disaster Needs Assessment as per globally accepted methodologies," he said, adding that the PDNA has estimated around Rs 666 billion for recovery and reconstruction. The minister said the government is also planning to raise fund for reconstruction through internal borrowing, soft loans and grants. "The government could borrow more from domestic and international markets, without causing harm to the economy, because the country has adequate fiscal space," he added. Currently, the country’s debt-GDP ratio stands at less than 30 per cent, which used to be 45 per cent in the last 15 years. Likewise, resettlement might be yet another challenging work for the government, as most of the earthquake affected victims might not opt to go far from their original place, he added. Former finance minister Barsha Man Pun, on the occasion, said the government should make clear guidelines about the reconstruction policies. "It should build houses of those victims that are below poverty line," he said, adding that the government could give certain amount or provide loan facilities to other categories of quake affected people.
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