Nepal | July 14, 2020

NC leaders find fault in fiscal budget

Himalayan News Service
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Leaders of the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) have said that the budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 that was announced on Thursday has failed to grab the opportunity to turn the current crisis into an opportunity.

During the parliamentary meeting held today on the budget for the next fiscal year, NC leader Minendra Rijal said that the government through the budget could not ensure economic development of the country and concrete ways to contain the current crisis.

“As the country is undergoing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were expecting that the government would introduce measures to properly deal with this crisis and turn it into an opportunity. However, the so called ‘powerful’ government did not dare to do this through the budget,” said Rijal.

Similarly, he said that the budget for the next fiscal year is unrealistic as programmes incorporated in it are without any assurance of resources. “The amount of foreign grant and borrowing that the government plans to bring in is unrealistic while the attempt to collect huge internal borrowing is not good. Collecting excessive internal borrowing will lead to liquidity problem in the business sector,” Rijal said.

Likewise, NC leaders also said that the government could not allocate ample resources to local levels through the budget though the role of local governments in containing the spread of coronavirus is higher. “Ample budge allocation to the local level is also crucial to strengthen the concept of federalism,” added Rijal.

Meanwhile, the NC leaders also said that the government did not allocate enough budget to control the spread of coronavirus in the country. “The Rs six billion that has been allotted is not enough even to carry out necessary testing of coronavirus,” said Rijal.

The NC has also urged the government to effectively involve itself in reviving the economy, implement relief distribution and ensure people’s access to relief packages of the government.

Citing that different targets set by the government in the budget including the revenue collection target are not realistic, NC lawmaker Binod Chaudhary stated that the budget is assumption-based and full of extreme optimism. “The coming days will be even harsher for the economy while assumptions in the budget have been made that the economic crisis will end within a few weeks,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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