Arrears exceed Rs 500 billion

By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, Apr. 13:
The size of the government arrears has surged by more than 26 per cent during the last fiscal year 2016/17.

According to the 55th Report of the Auditor General 2017 published on Thursday, the arrears have reached a whooping Rs. 500.08 billion, including remaining foreign grant and loan reimbursement and revenue due, from Rs. 396.25 billion.

Auditor General Tanka Mani Sharma presented the report to President Bidya Devi Bhandari today.

The arrears of the government offices are Rs. 213.67 billion, local bodies Rs. 14.25 billion and District Coordination Committees and other organisations Rs. 62.61 billion. Similarly, Rs. 20.58 billion and 22.38 billion in foreign grant and loan reimbursement respectively is remaining.

The Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport has the highest share of the arrears with 22.43 per cent unsettled accounts while the Ministry of Finance, Federal Affairs and Local Development, and Education follow with 17.05 per cent, 11.99 per cent and 11.38 per cent respectively.

The Ministry of Defence, Water Supply and Urban Development also have high percentage of arrears.

Nepal Trust, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, National Housing Company, Janak Educational Material Centre, Citizen Investment Trust, Nepal Railway Company and Cultural Corporation of Nepal have not conducted audit of their financial dealings in the last fiscal year while National Insurance Company Limited has not conducted its audit for the last five years.

Other organisations that have not conducted their audit are Nepal Tourism Board, Water Supply Corporation, Food Corporation, Drugs Company, Udayapur Cement, Gorkhapatra Corporation, Pashupati Area Development Trust, Tribhuvan University and Herbs Production and Processing Company.

The report has revealed that Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) misappropriated Rs. 610 million while purchasing land for petroleum storage.

Casino companies did not pay their renewal fees of Rs. 297 million, telecom companies did not pay the additional frequency and VSAT charges of Rs. 105.8 million and Department of Electricity Development has failed to collect revenue and taxes worth Rs. 559 million from 62 hydroelectricity projects. 

The report has pointed out that about 16.42 kilos of extra gold were used unnecessarily in the reconstruction of the Boudhanath Stupa; District Court, Baglung that has a 3-storey building procured an elevator for a 7-storey building; former judges of the Supreme Court was provided vehicles worth Rs. 449 million against the rule; and Nepal Rastra Bank paid up to 201 per cent allowance to its staff and spent Rs. 1.34 billion in allowances.

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