KESHAV P. KOIRALA
KATHMANDU: The government on Sunday introduced a downsized budget of Rs 161.24 billion for the Fiscal Year 2012/13 through financial ordinance.
The new budget is the one-third of the budget of Fiscal Year 2011/12 that is ending today.
The special budget includes Rs 3 billion for the purported Constituent Assembly elections, Rs 3.6913 billion for the rehabiliation package of former Maoist fighters who opt for voluntary retirement, and Rs 3 billion for the establishment of purported National Development and Security Directorate after the army integration.
Earlier today, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav issued the financial ordinance for the one-third budget as per the Article 88 (1) of Interim Constitution on the recommendation of the government.
After failing to forge political consensus for the full budget, the caretaker goverment had presented the financial ordinance to the president as per the Article 99 (A) of Interim Constitution.
While presenting the downsized budget at the National Planning Commission's hall in Singha Durbar complex this afternoon, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun urged the political parties to create an environment for the full budget.
At the start of his brief budget speech, the Maoist minister stated that the government was bringing in the downsized budget not to protract the conflict.
"If there was national consensus, we would bring the full-fledged budget with special programmes," he said.
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, ministers and senior government officials were present on the occasion.
Despite its intent to bring the full financial plan for the new fiscal year, the caretaker government was forced to introduce the one-third budget due to the protest from the opposition parties.