Invest, FM prods pvt sector

Kathmandu, October 26:

Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai today urged the private sector to invest more without any doubt. “The government is ready to provide security to the investments,” he said, addressing a post-budget interaction organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries(FNCCI) here today.

He added that the aim of the budget was to promote the private sector. “This is a step towards the development of national capitalism and a growth in the economy. Private sector should not get frightened regarding property nationalisation. Instead, it should start making investments, the government is there to provide a guarantee,” he assured.

Pointing to current global fiscal crisis, FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi urged the government to work out preventive measures to avoid the impact of the crisis in Nepal and encourage internal investments.

Highlighting the negative side of the budget and the impact of economic recession affecting exports, Joshi said, “The policy regarding achievement of targeted revenue has failed to attract the private sector. Concern regarding the export of Nepali carpet, readymade garment, pashmina and leather products was lost and no kind of promotional measures were formulated by the government even though our export sector is losing its grip in the international market due to the economic recession.”

National Planning Commission vice-chairman Prof Dr Pitamber Sharma warned that the economic crisis in the US could have its impact on Nepal and urged the government to start working on short and long term precautionary measures.

Joshi called for bringing new goods and services under the ambit of Inland Revenue and imposing custom fee on additional goods. He also suggested forming a revenue consultancy committee to conduct policy level discussions. However, Dr Bhattarai said, “People in the private sector are themselves confused about what they really want. Therefore, the gap should be bridged and whatever kind of problems they are having they should feel free to raise the issue of missing points and the improvements they want. Detailed discussion on this can be held later.”

FNCCI’s tax and revenue committee chairperson Pradeep Man Vaidhya said, “There must be door-to-door service so that tax payers feel encouraged and honoured. The government should also provide security to tax payers.” Vaidhya also said that it was not the right time to charge property tax and that there shouuld be thorough homework before that.

While Dr Bhattarai assured tax payers would get due recognition, acting secretary to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) Krishna Hari Baskota said, “The budget has not ignored the private sector. Rather, the government believes in the internal market and internal investment which is the driving factor for development.”

“Study on VAT and other aspects is going on. Instead of carping, the private sector should look at the improvements made by the budget,” Baskota added.