In their opinion …

The private sector has said that the budget for fiscal 2015-16 that has a target of achieving economic growth of six per cent is ambitious, pointing out the weak capacity of the government to spend capital budget. The Himalayan Times spoke to some private sector leaders to get their views on the budget. Here is what they had to say:

We found the budget investment-friendly because the government has not levied new taxes considering the situation after the devastating earthquake. It has encouraged the private sector to increase investment. It has announced a raft of incentives for domestic industries, which will make us self-reliant. Agriculture and tourism sectors have been prioritised in the budget. However, the budget fails to specify the role of private sector in the reconstruction drive. The reconstruction budget allocated in this fiscal is not sufficient. It is less than Rs 100 billion, whereas the government has planned to spend Rs 667 billion within five years. But the major thing is, implementation and its success will depend on how much output we can achieve.

  • Pashupati Murarka, President, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry

The budget has talked about enhancing the implementation capacity of the government and private sector. We (private sector) were seeking a particular project from the government to develop as a model project. The government has included cooperatives and non-governmental organisations in the reconstruction drive, which means that the government has not recognised the competency of the private sector in this regard. Commitment of reforms in the legal front is a continuity of the previous budget. To encourage the small and micro enterprises in earthquake-hit districts, we’ve talked about cash incentives for them, but the government has not done so.

  • Narendra Kumar Basnyat, President, Confederation of Nepalese Industries

The budget is ambitious as it has targeted to achieve economic growth of six per cent. We have observed that the budget is more balanced and private sector-friendly because it has not levied new taxes and also has not hiked the tax rates. More importantly, it has expanded the threshold of value added tax (VAT). Though there is no aggressive plan to attract investment, the government has been able to take the private sector in confidence. The reconstruction activities that are going to be undertaken in the next fiscal are expected to generate jobs for 50,000 people, which is a very important aspect of this budget. However, the budget has talked about the Social Security Bill in isolation. It needs to come with the Labour Bill.

  • Shekhar Golchha, Vice President, FNCCI