'No new programmes in budget as huge amount in education is compulsory liability'

Kathmandu- Minister for Education, Science and Technology Sumana Shrestha has said that sufficient budget for a large number of new plans and programmes could not be unveiled in the upcoming fiscal year's budget to bring about reforms in education due to the high volume of compulsory liability of the government. "This cannot be amended massively and there is a resource crunch for new plans and programmes," according to Minister Shrestha.

Responding to the lawmakers' queries in today's meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR), Minister Shrestha said the Ministry's most of the budget goes to the local levels through compulsory liability and fiscal transfer. "More than Rs 200 billion or 10.95 per cent of the total budget has been allocated to Education Ministry. Of that, 70 per cent amount goes to the local level for fiscal transfer," she said adding that around 93 per cent of the total budget allocated for the Education Ministry is the compulsory liability. "Only 0.4 per cent amount is allocated for new programmes," Minister Shrestha said. Under the Ministry's allocation, 6.6 per cent is allocated for capital expenditure, the Education Minister said.

The government has allocated Rs 203.74 billion for the upcoming fiscal year for the Ministry of Education. She argued that efforts were made how structural reforms could be made in the education sector and added that geography, economic condition and other indicators were analyzed in determining the budget's priorities. Minister Shrestha argued that a new Education Act was needed to resolve the policy issues in the education sector and urged the parliament to advance the education bill.

Source: RSS