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Friday, April 12, 2019

Arrears of govt agencies rise by 36.7 pc

Kathmandu, April 12

Arrears of the government rose significantly by 36.7 per cent in the fiscal 2017-18, reflecting inability of the government to resolve unsettled dues and failure of state agencies to justify spending.

The 56th annual report of Office of the Auditor General, which was handed over to President Bidhya Devi Bhandari by Auditor General Tankamani Sharma today, showed that till 2017-18 unsettled amount of government agencies of the federal government, provincial government offices, local government offices, district coordination committees and other organisations reached a whopping Rs 683 billion, which is more than half of the country’s annual budget for the ongoing fiscal. Till 2016-17, such arrears of the government were recorded at Rs 500 billion.

Arrears are generally accumulated if expenses are made unlawfully or without submitting proper documents. They may also be accumulated if the government fails to receive reimbursements on time or if advance payments are made to staff and contractors.

The government accumulates billions of rupees in arrears every year despite clear provision in the Financial Procedures Act, which calls for settlement of such amounts within 35 days of getting official reminder.

The OAG had carried out auditing of 6,644 offices in the three layers of the government. According to the OAG report, the total unsettled amount among federal government agencies in 2017-18 stood at Rs 106 billion, which is 5.29 per cent of the audited amount of the federal government agencies.

Similarly, arrears among provincial government agencies amounted to Rs 190 million, which is 7.25 per cent of the total audited amount of provincial government agencies, adds the report. The OAG had carried auditing of government agencies in 747 local units out of 753 units. Unsettled amount among local government agencies has been calculated at Rs 24 billion, which is 4.22 per cent of the total audited amount among local government agencies.

Arrears of different district coordination committees and other committees stood at Rs 10 billion.

The OAG report also reflected weak progress of the majority of national pride projects. As per the report, no physical progress has been made on President Chure-Tarai Conservation Development Committee and West-Seti Hydropower Project, while only 11 per cent progress has been made on Budhigandaki Hydropower Project.

The OAG report also highlights flaws in procurement process of government agencies, misuse of grants at the local levels, ineffective budget and expenditure management, weak project monitoring, ineffective revenue administration and weak implementation of policies related to financial management.

Quick look

Govt agency

Outstanding amount

Federal

Rs 106 billion

Provincial

Rs 190 million

Local units

Rs 24 billion

 

 



from Business – The Himalayan Times http://bit.ly/2IrD8XY

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