•      Sat Apr 13 2024

Next budget to raise the standard of living of the citizens: Finance Minister Mahat

Kathmandu, Feb 26: Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat has said that the budget for the next financial year will be prepared focusing on improving the living standards of citizens.

In today’s meeting of the House of Representatives, presenting a proposal to discuss the principles and priorities of the Appropriation Bill for the year 2081/82 (except the tax proposal), Finance Minister Dr. Mahat presented the budget to advance the country’s economy with the pace of the world economy and raise the standard of living of citizens who are in a difficult situation to meet their basic needs.

“Continuous initiatives to increase the effectiveness of capital expenditure, some flexibility adopted in monetary policy recently and efforts to coordinate between financial policy and monetary policy, the economy has gradually moved in a positive direction”, Finance Minister Dr. Mahat said. He said that the increase in electricity production and foreign tourist arrivals, as well as the increase in foreign investment, have contributed positively to the economy. He mentioned that the sufficient liquidity in the banking sector, the interest rate of loans is close to a single digit and the gradual increase in deposits and lending have had a positive effect on the economy.

He said that the real estate business and the capital market are improving recently. In addition, he mentioned that current account and current account surplus towards the external sector and sufficient reserves of foreign exchange have created a favorable environment for economic activities.

“Although the revenue collection is not as per the target, the growth rate is around 10 percent and it is expected to increase further in the coming days”, he said. He said that although the economy has started to return to the rhythm, it has not been free from challenges due to external and internal problems, and problems have been seen in cooperative and micro financial institutions.

He said that due to changes in the structure and technology of economic activities, challenges have been added to revenue collection, while further reforms are needed to mobilize public expenditure in areas of national priority in a prudent and frugal manner. “A large amount of money has to be set aside every year to pay the public debt obligations taken in the past”, Finance Minister Mahat said.

Finance Minister Dr. Mahat mentioned that after the earthquakes in Rukum and Jajarkot, there is a need for large resources especially for temporary housing and reconstruction and due to the low allocation seen in the agreed projects and programs, it has become challenging to pay the obligations created from the contracts in the past years.

He further said that there is a trend of not proposing the necessary budget for projects with guaranteed resources, duplicity in projects and programs, and projects not being completed within the stipulated time.

He said that due to managerial weaknesses in project implementation and lack of ownership in foreign aid project management, the implementation aspect is still weak. When the collected revenue is becoming difficult to meet the mandatory obligations, due to the budget demand for additional projects and programs, structures and posts, expenditure management is still challenging.

“Solving the problems of low production and productivity, high trade deficit, weak exports, migration of economically active age group has become a matter of priority”, he said. #Nepal


Full Text [NEPALI]

budget 2081-82 priciples n priorities