Planning commission starts drafting 3-year 14th periodic plan

Kathmandu, January 18

National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex body that formulates the country’s development plans, has started drafting the approach paper for the 14th periodic plan, based on which the government will frame development policies and programmes in the coming years.

Although the government had started formulating the draft of the approach paper in September, the process was stalled due to change in executive head of the country, which led to departure of the top brass of the NPC of that time.

“We’ve started working on it once again from yesterday,” NPC Joint Secretary Gopi Nath Mainali told The Himalayan Times.

Once the new periodic plan is framed, it will replace the existing 13th periodic plan, which is expiring at the end of the current fiscal year.

The country has so far come up with nine five-year plans and four three-year plans. The existing periodic plan has tenure of three years.

The new periodic plan, according to Mainali, will also remain effective for three years.

“Although the theme of the new periodic plan is yet to be finalised, it will focus on reducing absolute poverty, sharing economic prosperity, post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation, development of physical infrastructure and good governance,” Mainali said. “The new periodic plan will also complement efforts being made by the government to put the country in the league of developing nations by 2022 and transform Nepal into a middle-income country by 2030.”

As per the work-plan laid by the NPC, mid-term review of the current period plan will be conducted this week.

“Simultaneously, we have also started drafting concept papers on sectors, such as infrastructure, macroeconomics, social, local development, and cross-cutting issues such as gender, environment and governance,” Mainali said, adding, “We will complete this task within February 1 and start holding discussions on these issues within NPC and with other ministries from February 6.”

Based on these discussions, the NPC will start drafting the concept paper on February 22. And towards the end of February, the NPC plans to hold discussions with various stakeholders. “These discussions will be held in at least eight different locations of the country,” Mainali said.

Upon incorporating recommendations received through these discussions, the NPC will finalise the concept paper within mid-April and submit the final draft to the National Development Council, which comprises, the prime minister, all government ministers and state ministers, parliamentary leaders of various political parties and chairpersons of different parliamentary committees, among others, as members.

“Once the concept paper is endorsed, we will introduce the detailed periodic plan in mid-July,” said Mainali.

Although periodic plans introduced by the NPC over the years have helped the government to chart its development course, many of the targets set by the plan, unfortunately, are never met.

For instance, the existing three-year plan had envisaged average annual growth rate of six per cent. But it is now sure that target will not be met. This is the same with other indicators, such as job creation, electricity generation and extension of road networks.

This is largely because of failure to address structural problems in the economy, such as inequitable access to productive means and resources, and inability to ensure good governance.