NDC meeting to finalise concept paper of 15th periodic plan

Kathmandu, April 2

The first meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) after the country adopted the federal system of governance will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. The meeting is expected to finalise the concept paper of the 15th five-year plan (fiscal years 2019-20 to 2023-24) prepared by the National Planning Commission (NPC).

Min Bahadur Shahi, member of the NPC — the apex body responsible for formulating the country’s development vision — informed that the meeting will finalise the concept paper of the 15th five-year plan.

Speaking at a programme in the Capital today, he informed that the NDC meeting will also hold discussions on the draft 25-year development concept paper prepared by NPC. “The meeting will adopt policies and strategies that will help the country march forward towards development.”

According to Shahi, the five-year periodic plan has addressed the government’s vision of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. He informed that NPC had taken inputs for the draft of the 15th five-year periodic plan from concerned stakeholders.

Pushpa Raj Kandel, vice chairman of NPC, said that the meeting will discuss on and incorporate necessary suggestions in the 15th five-year plan and forward it to the Cabinet for its approval. “We will prepare the final document before April 20 and forward it to the Cabinet for approval.”

Earlier, NPC had set a target to achieve a minimum average economic growth of 9.4 per cent per annum in the next five years. However, the economy can grow up to 10.1 per cent per annum in the next five years based on different scenarios, as per the draft.

The government had last introduced a five-year periodic plan in 2001, which lasted till 2006. Since then the government had introduced only three-year periodic plans on four occasions.

Meanwhile, the draft of the periodic plan envisions that the country’s agriculture sector can witness average growth of 5.6 per cent per annum in next five years while the industrial sector can witness average growth of 17.1 per cent per annum.

Likewise, the services sector is expected to witness 9.9 per cent growth per annum in between fiscal years 2019-20 and 2023-24.

“The key issues brought forth by the participants were about the role of provincial and local governments in the federal context,” Kandel added.

He further said investment needs to be increased in education sector and any development activity has to be inclusive.

Kandel added the development plan needs to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the global aim of ‘Leaving No One Behind’.

Moreover, the government needs to focus on effective implementation of laws, assess risks and challenges in achieving the developmental plans, and address the issue of migration, among others, he stated.