Report says budget should focus on economic growth, sustainability

Kathmandu, May 10

The upcoming budget for fiscal year 2019-20 should basically prioritise economic growth and sustainability, as per a survey report prepared by the Finance Committee of the Legislature Parliament.

The survey report, which was prepared by the House panel with inputs gathered during the pre-budgetary discussions hosted by the committee across the country, states that the government should focus on introducing policies and programmes through the budget that guarantee the country’s economic growth and assure its sustainability.

The report states that the second and third priorities should be given to good governance and infrastructure development, respectively.

The Finance Committee had prepared the survey report based on questionnaires filled by 485 respondents across different parts of the country, covering all seven provinces.

Similarly, a majority of respondents said that the government should first prioritise agriculture sector in the budget. For this, the government should coordinate with the cooperative sector and promote the concept of agriculture cooperatives in the country, says the report.

Along with this, focus should be on the industrial sector followed by the service sector, as per the report.

On the infrastructure development front, the report states that the government should give due priority to the development of transportation infrastructure followed by hydropower and telecommunication infrastructure.

The report states that optimum focus should be given towards improving the educational system of the country to achieve the desired social development.

Citing that the process of post-earthquake reconstruction has been delayed, a majority of respondents of the survey said that the budget should introduce mechanisms to ensure that post-quake reconstruction is completed within the stipulated time.

Meanwhile, the survey report has also identified lack of proper coordination with the private sector as one of the major setbacks for development and urged the government to partner with the private sector to bring in big investments, especially for infrastructure development and promote entrepreneurship by working closely with the private sector.

Similarly, the report has identified the difficult entry and exist provision for foreign companies, ineffective one-stop service facility and weak implementation of different facilities announced for investors in policies as major challenges impeding investment growth in Nepal and suggested the government to address these issues through the budget.

The report has also suggested the government to prioritise the production of quality and competitive products and boost exports to promote the export industry and reduce the country’s trade deficit. Most importantly, the government should focus on production of goods of basic needs in the country itself to narrow down the trade deficit gap, says the report.

The Finance Committee is expected to soon hand over the report to the government.