Budget should focus on employment generation

Kathmandu :

Every year government brings its financial bill. While preparing the budget, government also tries to consult with entrepreneurs and its representative bodies regarding amendments and new provisions.

The government has constituted Revenue Advisory Committee as its helping hand. But the committee, however, in most of the cases, has its own limitations.

The another serious concern is why government could not make export-oriented policies. It’s aim, it seems, is only to collect revenue, which has a negative impact in the economic development.

The past budgets have not tried to address issue of more employment generation. Even if it had mentioned, the implementation part has been very weak and the achievements were insignificant. Without generating more employments, political disturbances couldn’t be settled. Therefore, the government has to think beyond the traditional parameters and should bring the budget, according to the changed time.

In this regard, we would like to urge all the political parties for their clear vision on the economic and social development of the country.

Priorities, agendas and concepts of all our political parties can only lead to a rapid development of the country.

As far as Bhaktapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) is concerned, we request the government to fix its priorities for sustainable growth of agro-and industrial-export sector. The government must promote indigenous handicrafts and bring tourism-oriented budget, which plays a great role in employment generation.

Apart from only fixing the import duties the government should also focus on the need of people. It should address economic issues as its main agenda rather than focusing only on political agenda.

The implementation part of the budget has always been a failure due to government’s lousy manner.

After the announcement of budget, the government makes frequent changes creating more confusions to businesses. This might be due to short sightedness of policy makers and political leadership.

The problem also lies within the government system as the coordination between inter-ministerial levels has not been satisfactory. Ministry of industry, commerce and supply and ministry of finance have to work in tandem for the effective budget planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The private sector also needs to be taken into confidence.

The policies for competitiveness enhancement programme like subsidy for ISO certification in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are sought by the entrepreneurs. Business incubation programmes, facilitation with facilities to the industries that replaces the traditional methods with new technology increasing the product range, quality and quantity should be encouraged.

We request the government to eliminate the system of area declaration for VAT registration, which is against the VAT principle itself. The double taxation system in business is also the serious concern. This makes the Nepali business less competitive.

However government has to convince WTO nations to link micro and small enterprises with larger and heavy industries.

BCCI has been requesting the government for the expansion of Araniko Highway for last several years. Due to road congestion, the tourism business of Bhaktapur is hit hard.

Bhaktapur is an agro-based district, realising the fact, we want immediate action to be taken to start Agro Market at Manohara banks, in association with BCCI.

Finally, we urge all the concerned bodies to work together not only for the budget but for the next fiscal year also to upgrade Nepal from a ‘Least Developed Country’.

(The author is president, Bhaktapur Chamber of Commerce & Industry)