Kathmandu, May 21
The government has been preparing a budget worth more than Rs 1,000 billion for the upcoming fiscal with major focus on road connectivity and energy.
Budget will be allocated to kickstart road projects in the five-year strategic plan of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport. The Kathmandu-Nijgadh fast track project will also be accorded priority.
The government will also allocate resources to begin construction of the north-south road projects namely, the 188-km-long Rasuwagadi-Syafrubesi-Trishuli-Galchhi-Malekhu-Bhandara-Thori; 310-km-long Kimathanka-Biratnagar; and the 88-km-Jomsom-Lomanthang-Korala road. As the country will be implementing the federal system, province-to-province road connectivity is being given top priority in the budget.
Another major focus of the budget will be energy sector — some hydropower projects and transmission line projects. The government will allocate funds to clear land compensation for the 1,200MW Budhigandaki hydro project. Two other projects, namely, the 300MW Dudhkoshi storage hydro project and the 700MW West Seti hydroproject will be initiated in the coming fiscal. The government will invite foreign investors to develop West Seti. However, the Dudhkoshi project will be initiated through the government’s own resources, a high level source at the Ministry of Finance said.
Similarly, the government will do the needful through the upcoming budget to ensure early completion of under-construction hydropower projects such as Upper Tamakoshi, Chameliya, and Upper Trishuli-A.
After successful implementation of the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line project, the government will announce another cross-border transmission line project in Bhairahawa to boost bilateral energy cooperation with India.
The fiscal budget will announce upgradation of transmission lines/sub-stations to make them suitable for cross-border energy trade and to improve the distribution system through installation of high-capacity transformers.
According to a Finance Ministry source privy to the budget making process, the upcoming budget will more than double the fund for Constituency Infrastructure Special Programme. The government had allocated Rs 3.60 billion in the present budget and each electoral constituency had received Rs 1.5 million this fiscal.*
Budget financing sources
- Revenue – Rs 560 billion (around 18pc growth compared to this fiscal)
- Foreign loan/grant – Rs 292 billion
- Domestic borrowing – Rs 100 billion
- Cash reserve (tentative) – Rs 50 billion to Rs 100 billion
(This version has corrected the figures.)
A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.