Minister Nidhi stresses need of amending Public Procurement Act

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Minister Nidhi stresses need of amending Public Procurement Act

Kathmandu,15 Dec 2014: Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi has said the Public Procurement Act, which is considered as an obstacle to right away implementing the development works, would be amended as soon as possible.

Furnishing information regarding the present status of the development budget expenditure for the Fiacal Year 2014/15 and the progress of meeting the target of the overall infrastructure construction, including roads, to the meeting of the Development Committee of the Legislature-Parliament today, he expressed the commitment to simplifying the process of awarding contracts and releasing budget thereby rendering the project implementation result-oriented.

At the meeting, MPs asked Minister Nidhi focusing on selection of projects, budget release,  the authorization of project implementation and decion making process.

Stating the real status of project implementation and expenditure could be fathomed only from the second quarter of the current Fiscal Year, Minister Nidhi said the amount earmarked for the projects which have not been executed has been transferred to the ones that have made progress but are in a situation of halt due to lack of expenses.

He said preparations are being made for constructing projects of physical infrastructure aimed at reaching the capital expenditure to more than 90 per cent, adding that the status of current capital expenditure on infrastructure projects stood at 16 per cent incorporating the progress of works made in the construction of the Kathmandu Ring Road and the Sindhuli-Bardibas Road..

The Minister said that the projects of national pride have been taken forward in a priority basis for increasing the capital expenditure and pointed out the difficulty in achieving the target due to the difficulty in obtaining aggregates, sand and other construction materials.

He added that the implementation of the projects was delayed as the District Administration Offices concerned could not distribute the compensation for the land acquired for the development projects in time.

Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Suman Prasad Sharma said the ministry has already issued the authorization for the implementation of the projects, adding that it is equally a matter of concern of the Finance Ministry that the capital expenditure should be increased. He vsaid the ministry has so gar released around Rs 9 billion for development projects.

Member of the National Planning Commission Chandramani Adhikari said that permission has been given to 26 of the 30 hydroelectricity projects across the country for which budget has been arranged.

Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure Tulasi Sitaula said 80 per cent progress has been achieved in construction of physical infrastructure projects under the 12-year- contract system and the number of construction of the road and bridges has increased compared to the previous year.

Secretary at the Ministry of Local Development Somlal Subedi said the trend of the donor agencies only mentioning the projects in the budget without sanctioning the amount for the same has created an obstacle in increasing the capital expenditure. He said the ministry has made a 12 per cent achievement towards development expenditure.

Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications Sunil Bahadur Malla said so far eight per cent has been expended in the development budget. He added that 84 per cent of the total budget was towards current expenditure and 16 per cent towards capital expenditure.

Meanwhile, the Development Committee under the Legislature-Parliament has directed the National Planning Commission (NPC), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport to furnish information within 15 days regarding the reasons for the delay in undertaking construction works of development projects and their completion as well as their non-completion in the stipulated time despite the allocation of the capital expenditure.

A meeting of the committee today issued this directive after acquiring information from the leadership and the office-bearers of the ministries concerned regarding the delay in the completion of the development projects.

The committee heard that the development projects should have been completed on time with the increment in the capital expenditure for the speedy economic development of the country, but that was not the case.

It called the responsible officials of the ministries and bodies concerned to its meeting today and suggested identifying the problems and operating the development projects promptly in the backdrop of a good number of projects of which the process /works for construction was yet to initiated.

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