Laxmi Capital News
Govt accepting Rs 25 billion off-budget foreign aid annually

Thegovernment is accepting an annual of Rs 24.63 billion ($225.87 million)annually in technical and other assistance from various bilateral andmultilateral agencies that is not reflected in the annual budget. 

Accordingto a data of the Ministry of Finance, 18 government ministries and commissionsare running 135 multi-year technical assistance projects worth a total of Rs102.32 billion ($938.21 million) as part of international developmentcooperation.

Thespending of bilateral and multilateral agencies under technical and othercooperation for various government entities shows that a huge amount of foreignsupport is coming out of the national budgetary system.

ShreeKrishna Nepal, a joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance, told Republicathat the spending of multilateral and bilateral sources as technical assistanceand other assistance through non-governmental international organizations(INGOs) is not reflected in the annual budget of the government. “The Ministryof Finance should be consulted and certain process should be completed beforeproviding such assistance. However, that figure is not reflected in the annualbudget,” said Nepal, who also heads the International Economic CooperationCoordination Division at the MoF. “We have made public the assistance fromthese bilateral and multilateral agencies for greater transparency andaccountability.”

Theseagencies utilize the technical assistance to support capacity development inimplementing various projects.

Thetotal annual budget of Rs 24.63 billion mobilized by these 18 governmententities is slightly lower than half of Rs 58.82 billion of foreign grants thatthe Ministry of Finance has counted in the annual budget speech as the sourceto meet total expenditures of the country for the upcoming fiscal year2018/19. 

Ministryof Health and Population (MoHP) is receiving the highest amount of technicaland other assistances from various bilateral and multilateral sources with theministry mobilizing approximately Rs 7.39 billion ($67.74 million) annually.

Intotal, the MoHP is mobilizing Rs 27.56 billion in foreign assistance in 33multi-year projects. Some of the projects that the MoHP is running under thedevelopment assistance are National Health Sector Program-III upon the supportof the UK, Health System Strengthening Project and SUAAHARA-II with the supportof the USA.

Ministryof Forests and Environment (MoFE) is second on the list mobilizing Rs 3.15billion annually out of the budgetary system. The ministry is accepting foreignassistance of Rs 10.56 billion for 16 multi-year projects.

Someof the big projects that is being run by the MoFE are Building ClimateResilience of Watersheds in Mountain EcoRegions by the ADB/NDF, Adaptation forSmallholders in Hilly Areas Project by IFAD, Building Resilience to ClimateRelated Hazards by the World Bank and Adapting to Climate Induced Threats toFood Production and Food Security in the Karnali Region of Nepal by AdaptationFund.

Ministryof Finance itself is accepting a total of seven projects off the annual budgetfrom various multilateral and bilateral agencies. The MoF is acceptingassistance worth Rs 12.82 billion in total and Rs 2.89 billion annually forprojects like Access to Finance for the Poor Program and AcceleratingInvestment and Infrastructure in Nepal from the UK.

Othergovernment agencies to be benefited from the assistant are Election Commission,National Women Commission, National Reconstruction Authority, National PlanningCommission and National Human Rights Commission. 

Bilateraland multilateral agencies are also providing their support to Ministry ofIndustry, Commerce and Supplies, Ministry of Agricultural, Land andCooperatives, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen and Ministry ofEnergy, Water Resources and Irrigation. 

Ministryof Health and Population, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of UrbanDevelopment, Minister of Water Supply and Water and Energy Commission are othergovernment agencies that are mobilizing assistance from bilateral andmultilateral sources.

Source:MyRepublica, 26th June 2018

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