News Digest: Federal Affairs (July 15-21, 2021)

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Budget related issues 

According to the Office of Audit General, the government spent only 64.69 percent capital budget and 89.75 percent recurrent budget in the last fiscal year, 2020/21. Which means, out of the Rs 1.474 trillion allotted budget, the government spent only Rs 1.180 trillion. Apparently, the government spent a huge budget (37%) in just one month of Asadh – the end of the last fiscal year.

Gandaki Pradesh was able to expend its 73 percent budget in the last fiscal year 2020/21. Meanwhile, Gandaki Pradesh was able to spend 69 percent of its capital budget with a 60.5 percent recurrent budget. Similarly, Karnali Pradesh spent 65.8 percent in the last fiscal year while 70.63 percent capital budget and 57.87 recurrent budget. Similarly, Lumbini Pradesh spent 88.76 percent while 99.42 percent capital and 77.57 percent capital budget. 

Chief Minister Krishna Chandra Nepali Pokharel speaking in Gandaki Pradesh Sabha. Photo: RSS

Karnali Pradesh has brought the budget through the ordinance of the current year 2021/22, meanwhile the budget could not be passed in the Provincial Assembly. On July 15, or as the Nepali calendar, Asadh 31 was the last date for passing the budget, but it was delayed due to political strife. Meanwhile, Karnali also brought two ordinances — Province Economic Ordinance, 2078 and Province Appropriation Ordinance, 2078. Similarly, Lumbini Pradesh has also passed the budget through ordinance. Similarly, Gandaki Pradesh has also passed its budget through the ordinance.

On July 15, the chief of Province 2 Rajesh Ahiraj authenticated two bills—‘Economic related bill and Appropriation Bill, 2078 while returning two bills without authentication—Health Management and Provincial Medal related.  

Development issues 

According to the Province Infrastructure Development Authority, the government of Lumbini Pradesh has intensified the infrastructure in Deukhuri in the permanent city of the province. Under the master plan, the government is constructing administration buildings and other required buildings for the provincial government.  

Out of 753 local governments, 200 local governments have not submitted/interred the details of revenue and expenditure estimates in the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration’s website of the current fiscal year 2021/22. The ministry announced to stop providing the grants till not submit their budget details to the ministry. As per the Local Government Operation Act, 2017 (71), the local government has to submit the detailed budget by the 10th Asadh of the Nepali calendar with the approval of the executive.  

Provincial politics issues 

CPN-Maoist Center is going to participate in the government of Province 2 by picking two ministries. The Maoist Center has accepted a ministry and state ministry. Now the government of Province 2 has formed ten ministries for power-sharing with the Nepali Congress and CPN-MC, while earlier there were only six ministries. Nepali Congress has already participated in the government of Province 2.  

The Madhav Kumar Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal faction of CPN-UML has decided to withdraw the no-confidence motion against the two ministers—chief ministers of Province 1 and Bagmati Pradesh, Rajendra Kumar Rai said, who is a leader of the Nepal-Khanal faction.

Due to lack of consent, the Gandaki Pradesh cabinet has not been perfect in the one-month formation of the new government.

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