By Modnath Dhakal
Kathmandu, Dec. 9: The National Planning Commission (NPC) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) have expressed dissatisfaction over the poor progress of large development projects. In the second day of the ongoing pre-National Development Action Committee (NDAC) meeting, they also criticised the line ministries for dismal status of capital mobilisation.
The pre-NDAC is reviewing the progress made by various ministries in the first four months of the current Fiscal Year 2020/21.
Vice-Chairman of the NPC Prof. Dr. Pushpa Raj Kandel expressed concerns over the below par performance of the development projects and concerned ministries this year.
Members of the planning body that were present in the virtual meetings also said that the achievements made by the 11 ministries that presented their progress report on Monday and Tuesday couldn’t be said encouraging. However, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation had performed well compared to their peers.
The Ministry of Water Supply (MoWS) has performed the worst with just 5.23 per cent financial progress in the first four months this year. The ministry’s financial achievement in the last fiscal 2019/20 was just 46 per cent.
Dr. Kandel said that the MoWS had not completed even those tasks that it had earlier promised to conclude by now and lamented that it was functioning as the ministry for the Kathmandu Valley only. The PMO also criticised the line ministries for their poor performance.
Secretary of the PMO Khagaraj Baral said that the progress of the airports in Bhairahawa and Pokhara was not as expected. “Let’s not sit idle showing coronavirus as an excuse. We have the projects, budget and the plan. It is useless to name a project a ‘pride project’ for years,” he said.
The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has five pride projects – airports in Bhairahawa, Pokhara and
Nijgadh, and Pashupati Area and Lumbini development trusts.
Commenting on the progress made by the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MoFE), Dr. Kandel suggested to immediately resolve the challenges that come in the way of development projects.
The MoFE had mobilised just half of the budget allocated for the four month period.
Similarly, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) had given priority to the formulation of laws and policies in the past four months. “Some of the legal provisions had barred us to mobilise the budget in the desired areas. The formulation of new laws will facilitate us in increasing the expenditure in the next four month,” said Dr. Baikuntha Aryal, Secretary of the ministry.
However, member of the NPC Dr. Ram Kumar Phunyal said that the MoICS had just monitored the market in a ritualistic manner and it had less impact on discouraging the malpractices.
The NPC has urged the ministries to improve the capital expenditure performance immediately. Likewise, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Shishir Kumar Dhungana assured additional financial provision for projects, if necessary.
The MoWS, MoCTCA, MoFE, MoICS, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security had presented their progress report on Tuesday.
Earlier on Monday, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of Defence, MoEWRI, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen and MoYS had presented their reports.
– The Rising Nepal