Experts urge investment friendly policy

Kathmandu, July 10:

Political leaders and economists have suggested the government to bring fiscal policies that would promote domestic investment and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI).

“The budget should be targeted at creating conducive environment for both domestic and foreign investments, as the country direly needs development activities to be geared up,” said Bharat Mohan Adhikari, former finance minister and CPN-UML lawmaker.

He also suggested the finance minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat to bring the budget based on current realities incorporating suggestions made by different sections of society. “The budget should at least bring new hopes to the common people and focus on revival of the economy,” he said stressing on the need for increasing public spending in agriculture and social sector development.

However, speaking on the occasion, Maoist leader Bam Dev Chhetri warned that they would protest against the budget if the government allocates budget for King and the Royal Palace. “There is no need to allocate even a single penny for the suspended king and royal family members,” he argued.

Chhetri also criticised the finance minister for formulating policies and programmes on the guidelines of multilateral donor agencies like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). “We will object the budget that makes the country and its people more dependent on donors,” he said.

Prof Dr Bishwambher Pyakurel expressed concern over the expansionary fiscal measures that the government is going to take in the budget. He said that the government is set to announce ‘populist’ and ‘ambitious’ budget, which will be beyond its capacity.

Based on the current economic scenario, Prof Pyakurel warned that the budget more than Rs 160 billion would be unrealistic and much more ambitious. “The expansionary fiscal measures in the budget are very risky for the country like Nepal, which is undergoing a transitional phase. Such strategies will have serious consequences in overall fiscal management,” he added.

He also presented a gloomy picture of the economy. “The country’s economic growth has declined in the last six months and remittance inflow has dropped by 46 per cent compared to last year. On the other hand, recurrent expenditures have significantly gone up for Maoist PLA cantonment management and internal security strengthening,” he said.

Dr Posh Raj Pandey, member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) said that the budget would focus on creating conducive environment for investment.