Mixed reactions to budget 2007-08
Biplav Poudel, tourism entrepreneur
The budget announced by the democratic government of eight parties has nothing new. It is just a continuity of the past. The finance minister does not see to be positive about the tourism industry. The first voice for total democracy had come from tourism entrepreneurs of Pokhara and we are appalled that the budget failed to incorporate relief programmes for tourism. It is regretful that the finance minister has sidelined the issue of construction of an international airport at Pokhara by just mentioning that foreign investment would be sought for its construction on the land, which was acquired 32 years ago. However, the programme ‘Bring Friend Home’ for tourism promotion can be acclaimed.
Dipak Shrestha, president, Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The budget is not encouraging for industrialists and entrepreneurs. I can say that the budget took a completely traditional course. It is disappointing for residents in Pokhara. The budget talked of taking steps against bandhs and strikes, but implementation side remains questionable. Rebate on tax rates is negligible. Prices of cement and paints are obvious to rise. Although employees’ salary has been increased, it will have a serious repercussion on inflation. Concept of investment board and industrial security board are welcome.
Navaraj Shrestha, president, Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The budget is good if implemented. There is no clear reference on the excise duty. Export promotion, development of education, strengthening of marginalised classes, commercialisation of agriculture and industrial corridor are commendable programmes.
Shanker Tandon, director, Tandon Ply House
The idea to ban disruptions on highways and steps to help marginalised classes and disabled are positive. The budget is good if implemented in good faith.
Bijay Sarawagi, former president, BCCI
Target of revenue collection is impractical. The finance minister’s dream could shatter as there is no environment for rapid development in agriculture, industrial and financial sectors. Government initiative is a must for achieving a five per cent GDP growth. More industries will benefit following the government’s announcement that they will be entitled to have passbooks if able to export 60 per cent down from 80 per cent in the past. That the industrial corridor will be built in Bara-Parsa for ready-made garment processing is doubtful. The announcement that an international airport will be built in Bara is welcome.
Kumar Poudel, chairperson, Chure Bhawar Ekta Samaj
The mandate given to the parliament the Janandolan II for holding the constituent assembly (CA) poll and meet the aspirations of the people are reflected in the
budget speech of the finance minister. It is appreciable. I am hopeful that a new Nepal will emerge and stabilise as a truly democratic republic after the poll. The Bhawars are eagerly waiting for the day to vote in the poll.”
Rambhakta Pradhan, chairperson, Hariwan Udyog Vanijya Sangh
The budget is a boon for traders and especially sugarcane farmers. We hope that the finance minister’s promise to give a boost to sugarcane farming and facilities to farmers to increase sugarcane production will materialise. In his speech he has assured of setting up a sugar board in the district and we are expecting it to happen soon. Once that happens, most of us here feel, that at least some of our long-standing grievances will be looked at and addressed.