The government on Friday claimed that the directive issued by the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to halt the release of budgets under non-budgetary headings was against the law.
The CIAA on Thursday issued directive to the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers not to release any budget in the name of ‘People’s Participation Programme’ which were not approved by the National Planning Commission and not mentioned in the annual budget statement of the current fiscal year.
Thursday’s directive issued by the CIAA is against the law. It is not authorized to do so, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun said after the cabinet meeting at Singha Durbar Friday morning.
"We will further discuss the matter with the CIAA officials. It needs to be made clear under what legal authority the commission took the step," Minister Pun said.
CIAA has no such rights to issue directives to the government; Pun said, adding that the commission could only make recommends and alert the government on such issues.
Releasing of budgets under non-budgetary headings would amount to abuse of authority and would be treated as corruption, CIAA wrote in its statement on Thursday.
Minister Pun, however, claimed that government ministries have rights to release up to 25 per cent of budget under other headings not mentioned in the budget speech. If the ministries need extra budget up to 10 per cent in such cases, they require the permission of the National Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry.
"Such practice prevailed in the tenure of past governments and the current government is doing nothing new," Minister Pun claimed.
In a reference to the
peace process, Minister Pun said that the government is currently releasing Rs. 4 billion to give continuity to halted projects.
Budgets of up to one
million rupees made available as relief assistance to family members of those who died of different causes including in the attacks of armed groups, fall in this category. These allocations are not stated in the budget statement, Minister Pun said.
Similarly, the meeting of the Council of Ministers extended the term of the taskforce formed to define the criteria of martyrdom, by one month.
The cabinet meeting accepted a grant of 4.64 billion rupees from the Asian Development Bank to run integrated rural development projects.
Minister Pun said that the government has formed 14-member national directive committee led by Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, for effective implementation of the President Chure Conservation Programme.
Likewise, the government endorsed first amendment to the regulation of the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority after technical glitches surfaced while appointing executive chief of the Authority, Minister Pun said.
Meanwhile, the government has appointed former mayor of Kathmandu Metropolis Keshav Sthapit as the commissioner of the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority (KVDA). Sthapit has been appointed to the post for a maximum tenure of five years. Earlier, the government had dissolved Kathmandu Municipal Development Committee to replace it with KVDA.
The government extended the term of two Brigadier Generals (technical) Dr. Prakash Raj Pandey and Dr. Bachchu Ram KC of Nepal Army till April 2 and 8, 2014 respectively.
Friday’s cabinet meeting also endorsed the committee formed to resume the halted processes of land registration in Sunsari district as per the Land Survey Act-1962.