Rs 55 billion allocated to projects under 10 million to benefit party cadres: Former FM Mahat « Khabarhub
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Rs 55 billion allocated to projects under 10 million to benefit party cadres: Former FM Mahat

18 June 2024  

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KATHMANDU: Former Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat stated that the government has allocated more than Rs 55 billion from the capital expenditure budget of Rs 330 billion to projects under Rs 10 million, to distribute these funds to party workers.

Speaking during the discussion on the allocated budgets for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the National Planning Commission, and the Offices of the President and Vice President in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Dr. Mahat made these remarks.

He highlighted that the government has earmarked over Rs 55 billion for small projects under NPR 10 million across four ministries.

He alleged that party workers would misuse these funds under the guise of consumer spending.

Mahat emphasized that the allocation of these funds to projects below Rs 10 million is largely subject to misuse by party affiliates.

Despite the government’s commitment, this pattern continues, with small-scale projects receiving substantial funding, he asserted.

“In the capital expenditure budget of NPR 330 billion, more than Rs 55 billion has been allocated to projects under Rs 10 million across four ministries. These allocations are made in the name of consumers, who will spend through their connections, leading to widespread misuse. Despite being aware of this, the government continues to distribute budget to projects under Rs 10 million,” the former Finance Minister said.

Mahat criticized the government for repeating old patterns in budget allocation.

He noted that out of 655 projects under local roads in the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure, only 89 projects exceeded Rs 10 million.

Regarding road expansion in Kathmandu, Mahat mentioned that only 4 out of 43 projects received over Rs 10 million, and in the construction of strategic road bridges, only 72 out of 679 projects exceeded Rs 10 million.

He pointed out that only 7 projects exceeded Rs 20 million.

In areas where the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure had declined to act, there were 898 projects, with only 189 exceeding Rs 10 million and very few surpassing Rs 20 million.

Mahat also noted that, despite mentioning 14 tunnel projects, only the project from Butwal to Palpa had an allocated budget, criticizing the omission of the strategically important Tokha Chhahare tunnel road, which had been proposed the previous year but was not mentioned this year.

He accused the government of discriminating against projects introduced by the previous administration and not prioritizing those that had contractual obligations, indicating a lack of attention from the current government.



Publish Date : 18 June 2024 19:26 PM

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