Govt to focus on employment in upcoming budget

Kathmandu, May 8

The budget of next fiscal year is not likely to launch totally new programmes, except for a few populist ones, such as ‘One Household, One Employment’ and ‘Ten Youths, One Youth Enterprise’.

A sneak peek of next fiscal’s budget was offered today when the government launched the Policies and Programmes for financial year 2016-17. The Ministry of Finance frames the budget based on Policies and Programmes of the government.

Launching the policies and programmes, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said government would consider employment as an important tool for social

security in next fiscal, for which ‘One Household, One Employment’ programme would be launched.

The government is also mulling over launching ‘Ten Youths, One Youth Enterprise’ programme, as a model project in the next fiscal. The programme will be launched in coordination with Youth Self Employment Programme, Agricultural Pocket Area Development Programme, and Micro and Cottage Industries Programme.

Other major projects that the government is likely to focus on in the next fiscal are construction of Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track, Second International Airport in Bara, ongoing irrigation projects, such as Babai and Rani Jamara Kulariya, and hydropower projects, such as Budhigandaki and West Seti.

“Construction works of reservoir-type hydro projects, including Budhigandaki and West Seti, will be expedited in the next fiscal,” the President said, adding, “Detailed study will be conducted to build at least one reservoir-type hydroelectric project in all provinces.”

The government, in next fiscal, is also likely to conduct a new study to ascertain hydroelectricity production capacity of the country. Every incoming government puts priority on development of the hydro sector, as it is very well known that one of the binding constraints for economic growth in the country is crippling shortage of power. Yet, many fail to walk the talk.

This is the same with transport sector, another area where lots of works need to be done.

In the next fiscal, government is mulling over starting construction of Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast Track using its own resources. It is also planning to start construction of East-West electric railway link next fiscal.

“Similarly, construction works of Rasuwagadi-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini railway will be initiated after preparing a detailed project report within two years,” the President said, adding, “In line with the agreements signed recently with China, construction and upgradation of Rasuwagadi and Kimathanka roads will be carried out. Similarly, Araniko Highway will be upgraded and Tatopani customs point will be brought into operation.”

In the agriculture sector, which accounts for 31 per cent of the gross domestic product, the government is mulling over increasing investment so as to become self-reliant in food production within two years.

In this regard, farmers will be given easy access to loans and will be encouraged to embrace mechanised farming via cooperatives. “Also, farmers will be provided with concessional loans under livestock development programmes,” the President said. “Contributory social security schemes will be introduced for workers in the next fiscal by introducing the new Labour and Social Security Act.”

Among others, government is mulling over extending a collateral-free soft loan of Rs 300,000 to quake survivors who lost houses based on group guarantee of house owners.