Most National Pride Projects show poor performance record

Khabarhub

August 21, 2020

5 MIN READ

Most National Pride Projects show poor performance record

Projects have shown poor performance record in utilizing financial resources. (File Photo for Representation)

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KATHMANDU: The long-awaited mega-projects regarded as national pride projects are found to be performing less than projection despite the two-third majority government’s claim to have focused on the long term and big projects.

According to the Finance Ministry sources, 18 national pride projects spent Rs 47.14 billion last year. Out of Rs 75.83 billion allocated for these projects last year, 62.17% have been spent for by the projects.

Most of the projects have shown poor performance record in utilizing the financial resources provided to them.

According to the Ministry sources, Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project has utilized all of the budget allocated for the fiscal year proving itself a project to make 100% expenses allocated.

Rs 1 billion had been allocated for this project last year, and all the amount is used up. Besides this, other projects remained too away from making the projected progress and utilizing the allocated budget.

The Budhi Gandaki Hydropower project did not get much budget last year as other tasks but the compensation for the land was not handled last year.

The Postal Highway construction project that had succeeded to bag the largest allocation in the last fiscal year has spent only 58.17% of its budget for the year.

If judged from the perspective of the expenses made on the allocated amount, this project also made remarkable progress.

It has spent 99% of the budget meant for land acquisition and compensation purposes. It had got Rs 5.87 billion allocated in the last fiscal year.

As the modality of the construction has not been finalized yet, the construction work has not started in this project.

Nijgadh International Airport (NIA) is another such project which has not got its construction modality fixed yet. NIA has spent only 50 million rupees in the FY 2019/20.

Although the government has been claiming that it has given high priority to these projects and the projects themselves don’t encounter many problems in contract management and construction, most of the ‘big’ projects have been unable to spend the budget effectively.

“Although COVID-19 has been depicted as the main obstruction on achieving the set target, nothing was impacting the multi-year contracts and the national pride projects that don’t have financial limitations,” a high-level official at the Ministry of Finance said insisting anonymity.

Melamchi shows the worst record

Leaving Budhi Gandaki Hydropower Project and Nijgadh International Airport which has not started the physical construction work aside, Melamchi Drinking Water Project has the worst financial expenditure record.

Out of Rs6.83 billion allocated for the project expected to be completed within the last fiscal year, Melamchi project managed to spend Rs 1.82 billion which turns out to be only 26.72% of the allocated budget of the year.

The Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track which had witnessed the budget surrender in between the fiscal year has spent less than 50% of the allocated budget. Nepal Army has got the responsibility of handling the project of late.

Interestingly, the project management claims to have been working even during the coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown.

The Postal Highway construction project that had succeeded to bag the largest allocation in the last fiscal year has spent only 58.17% of its budget for the year.

The project made the expenses worth Rs 7.93 billion out of the allocated sum of 13.63 billion rupees.

Similarly, Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara International Airport have spent 47.52% and 56.69% of the allocated sum respectively.

The Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track which had witnessed the budget surrender in between the fiscal year has spent less than 50% of the allocated budget. Nepal Army has got the responsibility of handling the project of late.

The Pushpa Lal Mid-hill Highway, another project hailed “ambitious” did not fare much better as well. Out of 8.54 billion rupees allocated in the fiscal year 2019/20 the project spent 8.54 billion rupees which turn out to be 73.95% of the allocated budget.

Likewise, the irrigation sector also managed to spend around 60% of the allocated budget. Babai Irrigation Project, Bheri Irrigation Project, and Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project, Sikta Irrigation Project, and Rani Jamara Kulariya Irrigation Project have used nearly 60% of their budget last year.

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