Budget more focused on physical infrastructure

Kathmandu, May 29

The government has allocated a budget of Rs 83.89 billion for energy development through the budget for next fiscal year. It also has plans to celebrate 2019 to 2029 as Energy Decade. The government also has set a target to provide access to modern energy to all households within three years and supply sufficient energy to all households within five years.

Similarly, with an aim to build a multipurpose hydropower project in every province the government plans to conduct detailed feasibility study to develop Tamor, Kankai, Uttar Ganga, Naimure, Sunkoshi III, Sunkoshi II, Kaligandaki and Nalgad within a year and start construction activities within the next year. Likewise, land compensation to those affected by the Budhigandaki hydropower project will also be disbursed soon and construction of the project will begin in the next fiscal.

While delivering the budget for next fiscal year in the Federal Parliament today, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada also informed that the contract signed with a Chinese company to build the 750-megawatt West Seti hydro project had been terminated and the government will build the project through domestic resources. The initial study of the 10,800MW Karnali Chisapani project will also be started by next fiscal.

The government also has plans to build a hydropower project with installed capacity of 3,000 megawatts with the combined investment of government employees, foreign migrant workers, and the general public.

Similarly, the government will finalise the detailed project report (DPR) of Lamki-Bareilly, Duhabi-Purniya and Kohalpur-Lucknow high-voltage transmission lines of 400 kV strength by next fiscal. It also has a target to complete construction of the 765 kV Galchhi-Rasuwagadi-Kyirong high-voltage transmission within next five years. To attract the private sector to build transmission lines, the government has plans to adopt the build and transfer (BT) model.

The government also has plans to develop more micro-hydro projects and bio-gas plants with an aim to electrify the rural areas of the country.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated a budget of Rs 109.38 billion to develop the country’s transportation infrastructure. To expand and upgrade the East-West highway, the government has plans to conduct a detailed study report and start upgradation works by next fiscal. It also has allocated budget for the Kathmandu-Nijgadh Expressway, Postal Highway and Pushpalal Mid-hill Highway. Likewise, the government has set a target to construct link roads connecting all the districts touching the southern border to the Pushpalal Mid-hill Highway.

Additionally, the government will also construct a new highway called the Madan Bhandari Highway that will link Shantinagar of Jhapa district to Rupal of Dadeldhura and has allocated Rs 4.50 billion for the purpose. Likewise, there are also plans to construct a link road from Kimanthanka of Taplejung to Rani of Morang in the eastern region and from Korala to Triveni in the western region by next fiscal.

The government also introduced a programme named ‘Tarai-Madhesh Road Infrastructure Special Programme’ to construct roads in those regions in the Tarai that do not have access to roads and connect them with the national highway.

The government has set a target to build tunnel roads in seven different regions across the country. Under this goal, there are plans to complete the study and begin construction of tunnel roads in Naubise-Nagdhunga; Tokha-Khahare-Gurgubhangyang; Butwal-Palpa Siddhababa; Koteshwor-Jadibuti; Khurkot-Chiyabari; BP Nagar-Khutiya-Dipayal and Thankot-Chitlang routes by the next fiscal.

The government also has plans to bring all the roads that have already been constructed under the supervision of the Road Board.

There is a target to complete the feasibility study and DPR of the Kakadvitta-Bardibas and Butwal-Gaddachauki sections of the Mechi-Mahakali electric railway project and also the Mechi-Mahakali-Kathmandu link way. Likewise, the government plans to conduct feasibility study and DPR of Kathmandu Valley cable car, metrorail and monorail projects and start construction by next fiscal. It also has a goal to complete the feasibility study of water transportation system along the Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali rivers.

Moreover, the government has allocated Rs 1.43 billion for transportation management system. To better manage the public transportation sector, the government will open offices for vehicle registration, renewal and distribution and renewal of driving licences in all the provinces.

Moreover, the government has allocated Rs 5.20 billion for tourism sector development. It has set an ambitious plan to bring two million tourists annually by 2020. It has planned to develop and promote 100 new tourist destinations also.  To attract high paying tourists, the government will diversify the tourist services in different areas of the country.

To bring in more tourists, the government will mobilise the country’s foreign missions. The government will also build necessary infrastructure for development of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism by next fiscal. It has also said that the government will develop Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) into a deemed university.

In addition, the government will upgrade Biratnagar, Janakpur, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi airports to regional airports and provide air

service from these airports to neighbouring countries. Likewise, it has set a plan to build a domestic airport in Kavre to minimise the traffic congestion at Tribhuvan International Airport.