Karnali Province’s budget transfer in the last Fiscal Year 2020/21 crossed Rs. 5.5 billion. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning (MoEAP) said that the provincial government had transferred Rs. 5.71 billion in the last fiscal.
The government had transferred the budget to the projects making good financial progress from the programmes that failed to mobilise the budget. Karnali government had announced the budget of Rs. 33.74 billion for the last fiscal out of which 65.5 per cent (Rs. 22.10 billion) is spent, according to the ministry.
Most of the budget transfers are made for COVID-19 management in the province. The Ministry of Social Development had transferred Rs. 1.11 billion. An officer at the Ministry said that the province had poor capacity of budget allocation and high-government officials and leaders lack good decision making capacity and ministries make unsound decisions.
“Budget is allocated to the projects without assessing the feasibility and the earmarked money is not spent. Therefore, such budget is transferred after the first half of the Fiscal Year,” he pointed out.
There is a provision of 10 per cent inter-ministry budget transfer but the Cabinet has made decisions for budget transfer to the projects which is not allowed.
According to the MoEAP, Rs. 202.4 million is transferred by a Cabinet decision to the construction of walking trails from the budget earmarked for food procurement. Likewise, Rs. 260 million is sent to the local bodies to complete the incomplete programmes.
Public Accounts Committee of the Provincial Assembly has expressed its concerns to the haphazard budget transfer at the end of the FY and asked the government to submit the details of such transfers. As per the details received by the committee, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Urban Development has transferred Rs. 380 million, Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Rs. 110 million and Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forests and Environment Rs. 90 million. PAC chairman Padam Bahadur Rokaya said that the Physical Infrastructure Ministry did not submit complete details. The committee has barred the ministries from implementing the programmes that received budget transfer at the end of the fiscal year.