By Our Reporter
It is already mid-Asar and in less than two weeks, the fiscal year will come to an end. But the race to spend the development budget has got a momentum across the country.
If we go through the newspapers and if we see in Kathmandu, we find that the people are too busy to speed up the development works, especially in blacktopping and repairing the roads. In some municipalities of western Tarai were shown blacktopping the roads amidst rains!
According to Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada, only 53 per cent of the development budget was spent by the second week of Asar. He had allocated Rs. 314 billion for development works for the current fiscal year, and only Rs. 165 billion of that was spent by mid Asar (end of June) and the local levels are working in haste everywhere to finish the remaining 47 per cent of the capital budget.
As a result, if one goes around the outskirts of the cities or even in the streets inside a city these days, he or she can see roads being dug for laying sewerage pipes or maintain them and piles of concrete pieces at the road side for blacktopping of the road. Fortunately, there has not been monsoon rains this year, and the roads have not turned muddy as in the past. These scenes make us believe that development works are going on in full swing. It looks the concerned authorities are really committed to speed up development works no matter whether it rains or shines.
Such a scenario should make everyone happy. But, the people simply have termed t such activities as the Asare Bikash. The Nepali term Asare Bikash has gained momentum for the last few years as many development works, specially road constructions, blacktopping, embankment construction, get dangerously accelerated in the month of Asar (mid-June to mid-July) which is the last month of the Nepali fiscal year. And this year too it has not been different although a two-thirds majority government is functioning in Singh Durbar.
Those construction companies which have won the bid to complete such development project within the given fiscal year may have their own compulsion to finish the works by hook or crook within the timeframe. For them, work completion is the first priority whereas quality works come last. They are to make profit from such project and they may have their own reasons to start road construction, improvement when it starts raining.
On the other hand, construction companies blame the authorities in delaying the release of the fund for construction in time. This blame game goes on, and the road that is black topped in Asar becomes muddy or dusty within a month as the bitumen placed amidst rainfall peels off. The newly built road becomes muddy or dusty with patches and sinkholes strewn here and there within a few months, and the plight of the commuters remains the same.
The misuse of taxpayers’ money is going on for the last many years in the name of development, no matter how powerful government we have in Singh Durbar.
Spending Budget in Asar continues
By Our Reporter