Poor planning

Yesterday, the National Assembly approved the revised budget estimates for the financial year 2008-09. Like the previous year (see earlier entry), the last financial year also saw a huge difference between the approved budget and the most recent revised estimates. This time, however, the difference was completely on the other side of the spectrum – the government expects to spend much, much more than what had been approved.

How much more? The total outlay for 2008-09 approved by the National Assembly last year was Nu 21,096.281 million. The government’s revised estimate for 2008-09 is a whopping Nu 25,519.695. That’s an upward revision of Nu 4423.414 million. And, that amounts to a difference of 21%.

Again, poor planning. Or, poor implementation. Or both.

Some have argued that the upward revision is good; that that indicates that our government has done more than what was approved. And, that may be so. But, at 21%, the difference is big, too big to be conveniently ignored. Especially if changes to the original plan are not well considered, but are ad hoc.

This is how the upward revision was sanction. During the winter session of the Parliament, a supplementary budget of Nu 488.439 million was approved. During this session, a request to approve another supplementary budget of Nu 4,238.447 million was submitted.

But, the government also reported to the National Assembly that about 10% of the original budget has still not been used. That would work out to Nu 2,158 million!

Confusing? Yes. Why? Poor planning. And poor implementation.