Laxmi Capital News
Non-budgetary demand soars to Rs 382 billion

Demandfor non-budgetary spending has soared to Rs 382 billion since mid-July. 

Therecord demand for budget out of formal budgetary system is promoting budgetaryindiscipline, officials of the Ministry of Finance and experts say. 

Chiefof Budget and Program Division at the Ministry of Finance, Nirmal HariAdhikari, said that the demand for non-budgetary projects and programs is intune of Rs 382 billion till Sunday. The amount is a third of the total budgetof Rs 1,278 billion of the current fiscal year. Similarly, the demand hasdoubled compared to the past years.

Budgetaryspending, particularly those allocated for development projects, however, hasremained dismal. Only 21 percent of Rs 335 billion allocated for the purposehas been spent in the seven months of the current fiscal year.

Officialsof the Ministry of Finance have termed the growing demand for non-budgetaryallocations as 'financial indiscipline'. They say that such non-budgetaryallocations in the past have only contributed to misuse of the budget.Officials say growing demand and allocation for non-budgetary programs ismaking a mockery of the budget-making process and the budget endorsed by theparliament.

Accordingto finance ministry, the finance ministry had allocated Rs 125 billion fornon-budgetary programs in FY2016/17. The allocation was made through a newcategory 'projects of resources assured' by the then finance minister KrishnaBahadur Mahara. The incumbent government is now unable to foot bills of 'projectsof resources assured'. 

Civilcontractors have repeatedly urged the government to settle those bills at theearliest.
The finance ministry started using line ministry budgetary system (LMBS) forprocessing projects and preparing budget three years ago. But ministers andpolitical leaders are not taking the budgetary system seriously and disbursingfunds through non-budgetary programs. And bureaucrats have no option but tofollow ministers and political leaders, a finance ministry official said.

Mostof the programs and projects, which seek budget at the middle of the fiscalyear, lack any importance. Also, they may not be able to spend even if themoney is allocated, the official added.

“Toallocate and spend budget out of parliament is nothing but financialindiscipline. Such allocation only serves the interests of ministers andpolitical leaders close to the power center,” said economist ShankarSharma. 

Sharmafurther said: “The government and bureaucracy should embrace a tough approachin distributing budget and rather save the money for the next fiscal year.” 

Financeministers and finance ministry officials bow to pressure and generally allocatesuch budget in the second half of the fiscal year when budget spending is veryslow.

Source:MyRepublica 25th February 2018

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