Govt. releasing Rs. 75 billion to local bodies on March 15

Kathmandu: The Ministry of Finance is going to release about Rs. 75 billion to the local bodies on March 15, 2018.

As per the provision, the Ministry of Finance is releasing Rs. 75 billion to the local bodies as third installment under unconditional assistance to be provided by the central government, said Spokesman at MoF Arjun Prasad Pokharel.

The ministry had already released Rs. 146 billion in two installments.

Out of the total allocation in the two tranches, the local bodies had spent around Rs. 46 billion by the first six months of the current fiscal year. The expenditure is 31.50 per cent of the total financial transfer.

He said that there was no problem in releasing budget to the local units as the state coffer is now in a sound position. The government had planned to provide Rs. 225 billion budget to the local governments in three installments.

“Out of the total target, we have already released Rs. 146 billion, and the remaining amount will be sent to the local bodies on time using the reserve fund of the state,” he said.

Around Rs. 104 billion amount in the government treasury is ready for spending, he said.

The revenue collection of the government is encouraging as it has collected revenue worth Rs. 421.56 billion by March 10, 2018.

Given the slow pace of development works and pilling up of the budget due to the failure to spend the capital budget, there was no difficulty for the central government to send the budget to the local bodies in time.

Under the allocation act, central government has to transfer money to the reserve funds of the local government in three installments. The central government should release budget on Shrawan -1, Mangsir 1 and Chitra 1.

The local governments have the rights to use unconditional assistance received from the central government in salaries, allowances, to meet the administrative costs and in the development works.

During the review period, government spent only 31.23 per cent (Rs. 399.38 billion) of the total budget.

Out of total expenditure, government has spent around 41.20 per cent under the heading of recurrent expenditure and only at 14.35 per cent under the capital expenditure.

A total of Rs. 331.07 billion under the recurrent expenditure and Rs. 48.08 billion was spend during the review period.

Spokesman Pokharel said that the expenditure rate of the local bodies is quite satisfactory, suggested by the report of the first six months.

He expected that the expenditure of the local government to increase and remain satisfactory in the days to come as they are spending budget by making plans and programmes based on the budget allocated by the central government.