Nepal | August 08, 2020

No hike in old age allowance, civil servants’ salary

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, May 22

The Ministry of Finance (MoF), which is in the final stage of preparing the budget for fiscal year 2020-21, has clarified that social security allowances of old people and the salary of civil servants will not be raised and remain the same next year amid limited resources and new financial liabilities created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While MoF officials said that the focus is being given to the health sector, COVID-19 responses, employment generation and infrastructure projects in the upcoming budget, austerity measures are being adopted with available resources by not allocating budget for low-priority projects, reducing unnecessary public expenses and not raising old-age allowances and salary of government staffs.

“As the government is facing huge additional financial liabilities due to the spread of the coronavirus, it is high time that the government adopts austerity measures and allocates budget for only priority projects and programmes,” said an official at MoF seeking anonymity. “While the health sector will be the primary focus of the budget,
resources will also be allocated for priority projects, especially those related to infrastructure as such projects will play a crucial role in generating additional employment opportunities,” the official informed.

Despite suggestions from experts and stakeholders to bring a limited sized budget this year concentrating on COVID-19 responses and the health sector amid resources crunch, the Finance Ministry is also expected to allocate budget for mega railway, waterway and airport projects as announced in the government’s policies and programmes, which means that the size of the budget for next year could be even larger than this year’s budget of Rs 1.32 trillion.

As per sources, the government is likely to allocate more than Rs 180 billion for physical infrastructure projects alone next fiscal year.

Moreover, a recent suggestion of the Finance Committee of the Parliament to the government to bring a budget of around Rs 1.7 trillion for next year has also encouraged the Finance Ministry to further expand the budget size for fiscal 2020-21.

MoF plans to boost internal borrowing, inland revenue collection and foreign aid for next fiscal year. The government plans to seek foreign aid worth almost Rs 400 billion and internal borrowing worth almost Rs 200 billion to balance the expenditure and source for the budget for next year.

However, the government is lately being criticised for trying to largely rely on foreign aid in the budget without official aid commitments from bilateral and multilateral donor agencies.

Economist Biswo Poudel said that there is no logic in bringing a large budget without confirmation of financial sources to implement it.

“It is clear that the government will once again bring a large-size budget for next year giving priority to different unfeasible projects if you take into consideration the recently announced policies and programmes,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Sevilla, Leverkusen cruise into Europa League quarter-finals

Five-times winners Sevilla made light work of AS Roma when first half goals from Sergio Reguilon and Youssef En-Nesyri gave them a 2-0 win over AS Roma and sent them into the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday. Sevilla's win, in a tie reduced to a single match played in Duisberg, Ge Read More...

Mexico, coronavirus outbreak;

Mexico's coronavirus death toll tops 50,000

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 6,590 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 819 fatalities, bringing the country's totals to 462,690 cases and 50,517 deaths. The virus is spreading quickly; just over two weeks ago, the health ministry reported 40,000 deaths. M Read More...

University of Washington forecasts 300,000 US COVID-19 deaths

WASHINGTON: Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by Dec. 1, University of Washington health experts forecast on Thursday, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks. The prediction by the university's widely cited Institute for Read More...

MoWCSC

Licence of child care home seized

Kathmandu, August 6 The National Child Rights Council, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, seized the licence of Kapan-based Care Child Orphanage following the rescue of 11 children sheltering there yesterday. Stating that the orphanage had violated the provisions in the Read More...

Covid-19 positive Province 2 home minister in home isolation

JANAKPURDHAM/KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6 Province 2 Internal Affairs and Law Minister Gyanendra Yadav has contracted COVID and has been staying in ‘isolation at his home as per the doctor’s advice’ since he tested positive for the virus’. Yadav, who is asymptomatic, has urged everyone who Read More...

Student enrolment remains uncertain

Kathmandu, August 6 Mainly private schools in the country have been running online classes. However, due to poor internet facility and frequent power cuts, online classes have not been effective in Nepal. Preparations to resume student enrolment since August 17 have been marred by increasin Read More...

Community spread feared in Siraha

Siraha, August 6 The spread of COVID-19 in the community has caused terror in Siraha of late. Just yesterday, four persons involved in different occupations tested positive for the virus here, according to District Health Office. Two of the four are health professionals of a polyclinic; one Read More...

VTM crunch hits Banke

Nepalgunj, August 6 The shortage of Viral Transport Medium used for collecting and transporting swab samples has hit the health offices in Banke. The local levels bought the VTMs and offered them to health offices as they did not have it. Mayor of Nepalgunj sub-metropolis Dhawal Shamsher Ra Read More...