Laxmi Capital News
No preparations for supplementary budget MoF

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has dismissedrumours regarding a supplementary budget stating that there have been nopreparations in that direction.

“The government is geared up to execute the budget properlyand there is no shortfall of funds earmarked for development expenses and wehave not faced any sudden expenses liability till date,” said Revenue SecretaryShishir Kumar Dhungana. “So, there is no question about a supplementarybudget.”

After the fiscal budget 2018-19 was unveiled, FinanceMinister Yubaraj Khatiwada has been cornered by leaders of the Nepal CommunistParty (NCP) – a political party that he is affiliated with. The leaders haverepeatedly stated the budget has failed to meet the expectations of the peopleand does not convey any message that the stable government will expedite thedevelopment process.

A major dissatisfaction has been on the size of the budget,which is relatively modest, according to Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaderswho have provided leadership in the finance ministry in the past. FinanceMinister Khatiwada had unveiled a budget worth Rs 1,315.16 billion for thisfiscal. Unlike in the past, the current fiscal budget has not entertainedpopulist and political pet programmes, which has disappointed some sections ofthe Nepal Communist Party (NCP), according to political analysts.

Meanwhile, the issue of supplementary budget has beenprioritised by the political leadership of the NCP (NCP). Recently, during hisvisit to India, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chairman of the ruling party and formerprime minister, had mentioned that the government will bring a supplementarybudget to address the announcements made through the election manifesto, likeincreasing the allowance of senior citizens and disabled people.

Talking to journalists upon his arrival, Dahal had saidthat he will hold further discussions with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli tobring a supplementary budget to fill the gaps in current budget.

However, Finance Minister Khatiwada has been averse to theidea of bringing a supplementary budget when the budget execution has juststarted and there is no rationale of a supplementary budget, according to MoFofficials.

“A supplementary budget can be brought only when there is ashortfall of earmarked funds. For instance, when reconstruction works ordevelopment projects need to be accelerated and the allotted funds areinsufficient to cater the need.”

Officials have said that government expenses will startrising only after the first half of the fiscal and it is too early now toimagine of a shortfall of resources in priority areas. A supplementary budgetcan also be brought when there is a sudden unforeseen liability to the governmentat times like natural disasters and recovery, purchase of arms and ammunitionor when a situation occurs that had not been envisagedduring the formulation of the budget, according to officials.

Source:The Himalayan Times, 13th September 2018

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