Pokhara Metropolitan City office. (File photo)
KATHMANDU: The Pokhara Metropolitan City said its expenditures schedule last fiscal year got affected as the COVID-19 pandemic had its implications in the implementation of development projects.
At an annual progress review meeting of the Metropolis organized in the Lake City Friday, a report to this end was presented by Finance Section Chief Jayram Poudel. The report shows that there was 87 percent budget spending towards the current expenditures and 50.5 percent towards the capital expenditure.
Last fiscal year, the size of the Pokhara Metropolis’ budget was Rs 5.51 billion and the total expenditure was Rs 3.68 billion. The expenditure of the Education Division makes up the highest contribution (91.37 percent) to the total spending followed by 45.44 percent of the Social Development Division.
Of the Rs 1.34 billion budget allocated for the education sector, the Division had spent Rs 1.23 billion while the Social Development Division had spent Rs 46.04 million of the total 102.27 million. Similarly, the expenditure towards infrastructure development was Rs 1.29 billion of the total 2.68 billion (48.1 percent).
As Poudel claimed, the financial status of the local government is strong and none of its projects is likely to face budget constraints this year; however, Pokhara Metropolis’ revenue collection has failed to meet the expectation.
The local government had estimated to collect Rs 260 million from property tax last year, but the collection was limited to just Rs 70 million. Similarly, the revenue collection from the advertisement and the entertainment sector was nil, and Rs 218 million was collected from the taxes of river-based products like stone, pebble and sand against the target of Rs 350 million.
Metropolis Chief Administrative Officer, Mahesh Baral, informed that the schedule of the implementation of planned projects was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. RSS