Koshi brings Rs36.24 billion budget through ordinanceQuestions galore over the implementation of fiscal programmes introduced by a minority government.
The Koshi provincial government, on Thursday, unveiled a Rs36.24 billion budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024 through an ordinance.
Chief Minister Hikmat Kumar Karki, who also holds the portfolio of the Ministry of Financial Affairs and Planning, announced the provincial government’s programmes for the coming fiscal year at a press meet.
The government has allocated Rs14.39 billion for recurrent spending, which consists of regular expenses of salaries and allowances. It has set aside Rs18.23 billion for capital spending, Rs10 million for financial management and has earmarked Rs3.60 billion for transfer to local levels.
The government aims to raise Rs4.57 billion from internal revenues, Rs11.64 billion from revenue-sharing, Rs1 5.36 billion from federal grants and Rs 150 million from foreign aid. The budget mentions the government has Rs3.75 billion in cash deposits.
As much as Rs2.7 billion has been allocated to the agricultural sector in the budget, brought with the goal of creating jobs, by modernising agriculture. The budget has allocated Rs 430 million for industry, Rs11.41 billion for physical infrastructure and Rs5.43 billion for water supply, irrigation and energy.
The government has set aside Rs3.07 billion for health and Rs1.79 billion for social development.
The budget has also allocated Rs1.50 billion for the provincial assembly member constituency development programme.
The UML-led government which lost its majority after the CPN (Maoist Centre) withdrew its support, unveiled the budget through the ordinance by skipping the provincial assembly.
Koshi Province Head Parshuram Khapung on Wednesday had prorogued the provincial assembly after the government presented its policies and programmes.
Khapung, on the recommendation of the provincial Cabinet, authenticated ‘Koshi Province Financial Ordinance 2023’ and ‘Koshi Province Appropriation Ordinance 2023’, on Thursday.
But there are doubts about whether the provincial budget, brought by a minority government, will be implemented.
As per Article 202 of the Constitution, ordinances become ineffective if they are not endorsed within 60 days from the first meeting of the new provincial assembly session. The incumbent government lacks the majority required for endorsement.