Dr. JAGADISH CHANDRA POKHAREL, vice chairperson of National Planning Commission (NPC), spoke about the anomalies triggered by the delayed budget. Excerpts:
How has the delay in budget affected planning process?
We are certainly feeling big difficulties due to the delay in the budget. The new programs and projects have been affected the most.
How will the development works proceed when budget is already delayed by four months?
The development expenditure has picked up in recent days. We will expedite the programs once the budget comes.
What are the complications you have faced due to delay in budget?
It has been painful. Recently, donors such as Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank (WB) expressed serious concerns over the lack of budget. They did not want to provide donor aid at a time when the government did not have budget of its own.
How do you think the lack of development expenditure will hit our growth aspirations?
Last year, the growth projected was 5.5 percent but we could manage only 3.5 percent. This year, certainly the growth projection will be hit by this delay and lack of adequate development expenditures. Worse, this will impact the efforts to alleviate poverty. In fact, there is a danger that the achievements we made in certain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could slide back.
What else will happen due to the delayed budget?
Since there will be less time available to put the plan into operation, people will tend to work in easier areas where spending can be faster. As such, rural and remote areas could suffer.