Capital expenditure still low although introduced early budget

Kathmandu:  Capital expenditure in the first four months of the current fiscal year also remained unsatisfactory although the government had introduced the fiscal budget in time.

The capital expenditure stands only at 6.45 per cent by November 16, according to the daily report of the Financial Comptroller General Office under the Ministry of Finance.

Of the Rs. 335.17 billion allocated under capital expenditure, only Rs. 21.61 billion has been spent in the first four months of the current fiscal year.

Likewise, the recurrent expenditure of the government reached 22.97 per cent of Rs. 184.55 billion during the review period.

The government had unveiled a budget of Rs. 1,278.99 billion for the current fiscal year in May.

However, the capital expenditure was slightly higher during the review period compared to the same period last year. The government had spent around 5.49 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

Economist Prof. Dr. Madan Kumar Dahal said that the low capital expenditure was not a new thing, but the government has never thought of identifying the weaknesses, hindering the capital expenditure capacity.

“It is unnatural why the capital expenditure has remained low during the current fiscal year when the budget was introduced in time,” he said.

Frequent change in the government, frequent transfer of government officials, especially secretaries, inefficiency of the concerned authorities and officials, rampant corruption and lack of good governance are the major reasons for the low capital expenditure, he said.

Economist Dr. Chandra Mani Adhikari said that the performance of the capital expenditure in the first four months was very low, which showed that there was no change in the working procedures and the traditional mindset of the concerned officials and authorities to correct the weaknesses.

Dr. Adhikari said that the government should have spent at least 20 per cent of the capital budget in the first four months of the fiscal year, but it was below 7 per cent.

The election campaigns have also affected development works as the contractors and the government employees have given more time to the elections than the development activities, he said.

He said capital expenditure at the local level was also quite low.