KATHMANDU, Nov 1: Stating that the Nepal Army was running out of money even to pay regular salaries and carry out day-to-day operations, Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Gaurav Shumsher Rana urged Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun on Wednesday to provide over Rs 9.94 billion, including Rs 858 million for salary payments.
CoAS Rana requested the finance minister at his office at Singhadurbar to allocate the money as soon as possible so that the NA´s regular work is not affected.
According to ministry sources, Minister Pun has assured CoAS Rana of releasing a budget for regular salaries at the earliest by arranging alternative sources.
But he clarified that he was not able to release any budget for purchasing helicopters, for their maintenance or for the purpose of integrating former Maoist combatants, until a full-fledged budget based on political consensus comes through.
According to finance ministry sources, the NA has demand Rs 2.55 billion for the purchase of two helicopters, Rs 1.33 billion for integration and Rs 5.2 billion for the maintenance of four existing army helicopters.
The army has demanded Rs 136 million at present to begin integration of the remaining Maoist combatants.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kuber Singh Rana also met Finance Minister Pun for addressing the budget crunch as soon as possible.
Nepal Police has demanded Rs 740 million and the Armed Police Force (APF) Rs 360 million to pay regular salaries of the security personnel.
The key political parties are unable to reach a common understanding for providing the country a complete budget before the end of this month. The incumbent government is preparing to bring another one-third budget instead of a full budget based on political consensus.