The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has started preparations for the budget of next fiscal year 2021-22.

The ministry conducted a meeting with the former finance secretaries today to take their suggestions for the upcoming budget.

The former secretaries suggested Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel to focus on how to help the country's economy recover from the pandemic while preparing the budget for the next fiscal year. The secretaries also stressed on the need to develop health-related infrastructure in the country.

Former finance secretary Bimal Koirala said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the announcement of election has added more challenges to bring a balanced budget for fiscal 2021-22. Thus, he suggested to prepare a budget not only focused on the recovery from the pandemic but also to move towards a sustainable economy.

Similarly, former minister and finance secretary Bidhyadhar Mallik said that the government should prepare its policies and programmes for the upcoming fiscal year by focusing on encouraging private sector to invest and to increase contribution of industrial sector in the country's economy.

Meanwhile, former secretary Rameshwor Khanal emphasised on creating commercial environment and policy-level improvement.

He suggested that the government should analyse the expenses before setting the budget target.

Along with them, the meeting was also attended by Shanta Raj Subedi, Suman Prasad Sharma, Yubraj Bhusal, Shankar Raj Adhikari, Rajan Khanal and Shankar Ghimire.

The secretaries requested the finance minister to prioritise COV- ID-19 affected sectors and also to increase spending towards the productive sectors.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times