FM discusses budget steps with King

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 27:

A senior official at the ministry of finance today confirmed the meeting of finance minister Madhukar SJB Rana with King Gyanendra that took place yesterday. Rana had met King Gyanendra with a view to apprise him about ‘budgetary provisions’ in the light of forthcoming budget, confirmed Aatma Ram Pandey, joint secretary and spokesperson at the ministry of finance. Pandey while talking to The Himalayan Times said that the finance minister had candidly presented existing economic issues and budgetary provisions for fiscal year 2005-06.

During the meeting, according to Pandey, King Gyanendra listened intently to finance minister’s presentation about the forthcoming budget. The ministry of finance is busy in preparing the budget for fiscal year 2005-06.

However, economic indicators so far available, do not show encouraging signs for economy. The government might face difficulties in making the budget due to resource constraints.

According to sources close to THT, the country’s GDP growth rate is estimated at 3.6 per cent while inflation is nearing to six per cent, which is an alarming figure for a country like Nepal, say economists. Imports have also recorded a negative growth by 5.7 per cent. Economists also claimed that revenue growth rate is alarming which is only four per cent instead of 10.5 per cent in real terms, due to the increased conflict, security expenses have escalated.