Budget a mixed bag: CNI

Kathmandu, Sept 21:

The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) today evinced a mixed reaction to the budget for 2008-09. According to a CNI release, the budget was concrete and courageous regarding the development of the nation as a whole but it has tried to focus on too many sectors — be it national or international investment.

It has different positive aspects, such as assuring of putting an end to the syndicate system, no licence requirement for 3-megawatt hydropower projects and no environmental impact study for up to 50-megawatt projects, said the CNI release.

CNI, however, did a kneejerk on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) issue which it said had not been boosted as expected. It also said that though the issue of revival

of certain sick industries had been addressed yet the budget had discouraged the private sector.

The budget has given its first priority to the government, second to cooperatives and then private sector. Though it included the formation of a revenue board which has been hanging fire for years it had failed to provide the private sector a decision-making role. CNI warned that the revenue board’s future would be like that of the tariff board. CNI said that state had adopted an ambitious budget but it needed to implement it accordingly.