Laxmi Capital News
Budget making process to begin after number of ministries is fixed

Budget-making process,which has been stalled due to delay in cabinet expansion, will gain paceimmediately after the cabinet fixes the number of ministries and appointsministers, say government officials.

They added that budgetceiling for ministries, which is the initial task in the budget-making process,will be fixed immediately after the cabinet approves the merger of ministries.

CPN-UML SecretaryPradeep Gyawali said that preparation was underway to cap the number ofministries at 15. It will be decided by Thursday, he added.

Lean and thin federalgovernment after cutting down the number of ministries and associateddepartments is expected to reduce resource allocation at the center while moreresources will be funneled into provinces and local levels. 

High-LevelAdministration Reform Suggestion Committee led by Kashi Raj Dahal has alreadyrecommended to the government to reduce the number of ministries to 15, whichis about half of the total ministries today, and ministers, including assistantand minister of state, to 25. 

Currently, there are 31ministries including the Office of the Prime Minister and Council ofMinisters. 

Finance SecretaryShankar Prasad Adhikari said that the budget-making process will gain paceafter the number of ministries is fixed and appointments of new financeminister and new vice-chairman of National Planning Commission are made.Likewise, NPC also has to decide which level of the government - federal,provincial or local -- will implement which types of projects. This allocationis also key to fixing the number of departments the federal governments willretain, said Adhikari.

Resource Committeewhich was led by the vice-chairman of National Planning Commission SwarnimWagle had held two meeting before Wagle stepped down on Sunday. But it couldnot take any decision on a budget ceiling as it felt it would be impractical tofix budget ceiling before until the number of ministries is fixed.

Gyawali also said thatthey were not only making federal government lean and thin but also has reducedthe number of ministries in provinces to seven even though the constitutionallows provincial governments to have 20 percent of the member of provincialparliaments as ministers.

Source: MyRepublica, 22ndFebruary 2018

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