Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) has suggested the government to formulate the budget for the next fiscal year 2021-22 by giving priority to economic recovery.

Today, a delegation led by NCC President Rajendra Malla submitted the chamber's suggestions to Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel.

At a programme held at the Ministry of Finance, NCC President Malla suggested that the government should focus on feasibility instead of the size of the budget.

"As the overall economy and people's lives are likely to be affected in the long run by the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget should prioritise economic recovery," he said.

COVID-19 has adversely affected all sectors of the economy, including industry, business, employment, health, education, tourism and construction. The budget should make special arrangements to reduce the adverse affects of the pandemic and promote self-employment to build a self-reliant economy.

The chamber further said that a relief package amounting to five per cent of the GDP should be announced through the budget of the coming fiscal and that amount should be made available at three per cent interest rate. "Due to lack of adequate opportunities, the youths have migrated abroad for jobs. To find a long-term solution to this, a self-reliant economy should be developed by increasing employment within the country," reads the recommendations.

The recommendations have also mentioned that information technology industry should be developed and expanded to rural levels.

The government should formulate a policy so genuine farmers get a return on their produce, stated the recommendations.

The recommendations further mentioned about creating a reliable investment environment, to simplify and facilitate retail business, to provide an integrated tax system and a single tax revenue account for taxpayers to pay taxes at the federal, province and local levels through a one-stop system.

An export house should be set up to facilitate the export of small, micro, domestic, medium industrialists, cooperatives and farmers who do not have access to the world market, added the recommendations.

Responding to the NCC recommendations, Finance Minister Paudel said that efforts will be made to incorporate the suggestions of the private sector.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.