Pre-budget discussion : Govt to try to entice more investment

Kathmandu, September 3:

The Maoist-led government is gearing up to announce a budget that will attract more investment, both domestic and foreign, contrary to popular belief that the CPN-Maoist policy will deter investors.

“Have confidence in us, unlike what others are expecting from us we will bring a budget that will attract more investment,” Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai said today while addressing entrepreneurs at a Pre-budget discussion programme organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) here.

“We know massive investment in physical and social infrascture is the need of the hour,” Dr Bhattarai said adding that the Maoists-led government would create an investment-friendly environment. “Due to political transition — we call it a transitional economic model — we may not be able to provide you all what we want to,” he said, trying to clarify the type of economic model his party would foster.

“We will encourage the private sector, and the public-private partnership (PPP) will be our main policy, followed by flexible Labour Act and practical tax rates,” Dr Bhattarai said. Reiterating the CPN-Maoist promise of encouraging national industrial capitalism, he said the Maoists wanted a stable government and sound policies that entrepreneurs have asked for. He said that efforts would be made to maintain the maximum level of transparency.

FNCCI Tax & Revenue Committee president Pradeep Man Vaidya urged the Finance Minister to bring a budget that would check growing inflation, increase productivity and generate more employment.

Mentioning the hurdles in doing business in Nepal, Vaidya said, “The government needs to bring short-term and long-term economic vision, attract more tourists, commercialise agriculture, promote exports and implement multi-VAT for a prosperous and new Nepal.” Dr Bhattarai assured Vaidya that the the suggestions would be incorporated in the budget.

FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi, vice-president Bhaskar Raj Raj Karnikar and other entrepreneurs also offered suggestions on various policy-related issues.

FNCCI disciplinary committee:

KATHMANDU: FNCCI has formed a seven-member disciplinary committee under the chairmanship of former president Ravi Bhakta Shrestha. Former president Binod Bahadur Shrestha, present vice-presidents Krishna Prasad Tamrakar, Bhaskar Raj Raj Karnikar and Pradip Jung Pandey, and Social Responsibility Forum coordinator and executive member Umesh Lal Shrestha and Rajendra Bahadur Shrestha are its members. The FNCCI statute has defined different duties and responsibilities for the committee. According to it, if complaints are forwarded about the people associated with the working committee, then a proper investigation will be made. The process of investigation includes inquiry, collection of proof and seeking clarifications.

Meanwhile, FNCCI president Joshi has been chosen member of the Tribhuwan University (TU) Council. Prime Minister and TU chancellor Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda selected Joshi on the recommendation of the TU working committee, said an FNCCI press release. — HNS