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Nepal’s government spends more than it takes in

KATHMANDU: The government’s revenue collection is less than its expenditures, which is causing the fiscal deficit to widen.

As of mid-May of the current fiscal year 2022/23, the Financial Comptroller General’s Office (FCGO) estimates that the government’s spending exceeds its revenue by Rs 250 billion.

While government spending has reached Rs 1.047 trillion during this time, only Rs 797 billion in grants and revenue have been received.

The FCGO estimates that the government has spent 58.14% of the annual budget in just 10 months. For the current fiscal year, the government had proposed a budget worth Rs 1.7093 trillion. 1.047 trillion rupees have already been spent from this total.

The government spent 66.149 percent of its current budget on current expenses, 33.04% on capital projects, and 58.79% on fiscal management as of mid-May.

Recurrent expenditures for the current fiscal year have a budget of Rs 1.183 trillion, of which Rs 786 billion has already been spent. Similar to this, only 125 billion rupees have been spent in the first ten months of the fiscal year’s development budget, which totals 380 billion rupees.

When compared to capital expenditures, budget expenditures for financial arrangements are higher during this time. Rs 135 billion had been spent on fiscal management as of mid-May. The majority of expenditures made under the category of financial arrangements go toward the principal and interest of government loans.

The amount of tax revenue collected by the government as of mid-May is equal to 54.66 percent of the yearly goal. The government has only so far collected Rs 756 billion of the Rs 1.403 trillion it aims to collect in internal revenue for the current fiscal year.

The government had set a goal of receiving foreign grants and subsidies totaling Rs. 55.45 billion for the current fiscal year, but as of mid-May, only 8.66 percent of the goal, or Rs. E. Received is $4.80 billion in rupees.

When comparing the middle of May of this year to the same period this year, income tax and value-added tax collections have decreased while excise duty collections have increased.

As of mid-May of the current fiscal year, income tax collections totaled Rs 159 billion. Income tax equivalent to Rs 173 billion was collected in the same period of the previous fiscal year.

Likewise, compared to last year, the VAT has also been decreased. VAT had been collected by mid-May of last year in the amount of Rs 90.68 billion, whereas in the same period of the current financial year, Rs 88.67 billion had been recovered.

Compared to last year, excise duty has slightly increased. Excise duty totaling Rs 84.11 billion had been collected by the middle of May. The excise duty during the same time period last year was Rs 83.88 billion.

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