FinMin says budget focused on economic revival, reconstruction

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat asserted that the coming fiscal year’s budget is focused on economic recovery and reconstruction while addressing the country’s economic needs.

In his first appearance today among the media persons after presenting the budget for the Fiscal Year 2015-16 in the Legislature-Parliament on Tuesday, the Finance Minister said the budget has been allocated keeping the regional development and economic balance at the centre, rather than sector-wise programmes.

Speaking in the post-budget discussions organised by the Ministry of Finance today, he believed that the economy will expand after the implementation of the budget for the FY 2015/16 which will then spur rapid economic growth.

Finance Minister Mahat said the budget has addressed the issue of regional economic balance and it contains programmes focused on the Madhes-Tarai region, adding that it also pledges providing basic needs of the people as drinking water, health and education, and completing the irrigation projects in the hills and the Tarai region.

He said agriculture development has been prioritised, many programmes in the hydropower generation sector have been included and attention has been given to the social security sector.

Stressing that the budget gives priority to economic growth, he said special attention should be given to its effective implementation. “There will not be any dearth of funds for the key projects as far as feasible from the administrative and technical capability. However, the implementation should be paced up,” he added.

The Finance Minister also stressed that the private sector and the development partners should extend support in the implementation of the budget as the government’s role is as a facilitator to create the environment for increased economic activities and providing the required legal framework for the same. He also urged the construction entrepreneurs to expand their capacity.

Pointing out the need of improving the employees transfer practice as it affects the timely completion of projects, Finance Minister Mahat said that the Chief Executive Officer of the projects of national pride would be appointed through open competition and those completing 80 percent of the project work would be reappointed.

He expressed the confidence that capital expenditure will rise as the authorisation for budget implementation has been given from the day the new Fiscal Year starts and a provision has been made by which there would be no need to approach the National Planning Commission for getting programmes approval after budget allocation.

Stating that Nepal has been spending a big amount in social security in the entire South Asia region, he said more than two per cent amount of the total GDP has been earmarked for this sector.

The budget that has been brought fulfilling the due process to be adopted while preparing the budget is not of any particular individual or a party but belongs to the entire nation, he said, arguing that there is no need for opposing the budget. “There is no one-upmanship in the budget, it represents the whole nation,” he stressed.

NPC member Dr Govinda Nepal, Nepal Rastra Bank Governor Dr Chiranjivi Nepal, Finance Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma, secretaries of different ministries and the representatives of the private sector including Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) President Pashupati Murarka were present in the post-budget discussions.