It needs no mention that slow capital expenditure in Nepal is one of the key factors behind the delayed project implementation and the failure to achieve anticipated results. However, ever since its formation, the incumbent government has focussed on spending development budget in a more effective manner in order to realise the national goal of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. Despite that, the capital expenditure was not so encouraging in the last fiscal year. There has been a bad practice of spending a major chunk of the budget at the end of the fiscal year. It may be recalled here that almost 50 per cent of the total capital budget was spent in the last two months of the last fiscal year. Keeping this in view, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has emphasised the need for the ministries to spend at least 50 per cent of the total capital budget within the first eight months. As per a news report published in this daily the other day, the Prime Minister instructed the ministers, secretaries and other high level government officials to speed up development activities.
Prime Minister Oli showed his genuine concerns at a meeting held at his office at Singha Durbar on Thursday, a day after reshuffling the Cabinet. As his concerns suggest, the Prime Minister has always been in favour of effective execution of capital budget in order to achieve the projected economic growth. Since he was not satisfied with the progress made in the development works in the first four months of the current fiscal year, he directed all the responsible officials to work vigorously in order to achieve the goal. He also told them to change their working style and adopt a better strategy to meet the target. With a view to intensifying the development works, the government has come up with a plan to spend about 70 per cent of the total budget with the first eight months of the current fiscal year. If this target is not met, the responsible authorities are required to spend at least 50 per cent of the capital budget by the end of the eighth month of the fiscal year. Development activities can gain due momentum only when any problem or obstacle surfaced is addressed immediately.
Prime Minister Oli also directed the government’s Chief Secretary to assess the current status of development works and come up with further strategies to expedite them in the next three to four days. He reiterated his commitment that the government would not allow anyone to spend the capital budget on low quality works and unproductive tour expenses at the end of the fiscal year. He also instructed the officials to discourage the tendency of cost variations and delayed project completion besides telling them to address the people’s grievances. This is a clear indication that the Prime Minister is very serious about the smooth spending of capital budget. There should be better coordination and cooperation among different ministries and agencies for carrying out development activities efficiently. Honesty and dedicated efforts of all concerned are equally essential for improved performance.