Lawmakers and the private sector have called on the government, especially the National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex body that frames country’s development plans and policies, to introduce a realistic periodic plan.
This statement comes at a time when the NPC has initiated the process of framing the 15th five-year Plan. This plan will be the guiding document for the government to prepare its fiscal policy.
“The government has introduced numerous periodic plans in the past.
But it has always failed to meet most of the targets set by those plans because of lack of proper mechanisms to implement the programmes,” lawmaker Top Bahadur Rayamajhi told a programme organised today to discuss plans and programmes incorporated in the preliminary draft of the 15th Plan.
After going through the draft, Rayamajhi said the draft of the periodic plan was prepared in “a traditional way” and “does not ensure balanced and sustained development of the country”.
The government is all set to unveil a five-year plan for the first time in 12 years. In the last 12 years, the government unveiled periodic plans that lasted only three years. The NPC has already prepared the preliminary draft of the concept paper of the fiveyear periodic plan. The NPC is currently getting feedback from stakeholders.
The government often fails to meet the objectives of period plans because of lack of proper coordination between government agencies, according to lawmaker Ganesh Pahadi.
“The latest period plan should clearly mention how this problem could be resolved and what could be done if problems arise,” he said.
The preliminary draft of the fiveyear periodic plan proposes to expand the country’s economy by 9.4 per cent to 10.1 per cent per annum in between fiscal years 2019-20 and 2023-24. The draft says the country’s agriculture sector can witness an average growth of 5.6 per cent per annum in the next five years while the industrial and services sectors can witness average growth of 17.1 per cent and 9.9 per cent per annum, respectively, in between 2019-20 and 2023-24. To achieve these growth rates, Nepal needs billions of dollars of investment, according to representatives of the private sector.
“So, the periodic plan should clearly mention ways to facilitate domestic and foreign investors,” said Kamalesh Kumar Mandal, vice-president of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC).
A version of this article appears in print on March 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.