Fiscal budget expansionary, populist: Leaders

Kathmandu, May 28

Leaders of the main opposition party Nepali Congress and ruling parties said the fiscal budget presented by Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel on Saturday might cause fiscal anarchy and inflation as the it focuses on recurrent expenditure instead of capital expenditure and productivity.

Nepali Congress leader and former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat said there was a distinct possibility of the current budget causing fiscal anarchy as it would lead to inflationary pressure and hence was unsustainable.

“Maoist leader Dahal, who is claiming to be next in line for the prime ministerial berth, said the government wanted to make everybody happy through this budget. The budget has many positive aspects but they are not implementable in the absence of a concrete plan of action,” said Mahat.

Another Congress leader and former finance minister Mahesh Acharya said the expansionary budget would politically benefit the ruling party but not increase productivity. The budget plans to raise Rs 300 billion in loan which is imaginary, said Acharya.

CPN-UML leader and former finance minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said the budget has announced popular and ambitious programmes and hence its implementation was challenging.

UML leader and former finance minister Surendra Pande said the budget had some good aspects but had also raised some questions.

“It has increased the perks of government staffers, increased the money that directly goes to villages, municipalities and electoral constituencies. It has also allocated money for big development projects. It has also allocated Rs 10 billion for Kathmandu-Tarai fast track project. These are positive aspects,” he said.

“But been scattered in many areas and the finance ministry should pay special attention towards preventing inflation, which is likely due to the expansionary fiscal policy and increment in the salary of government staffers,” he said.

Pande also said that things would fall in place if capital expenditure is increased. But if the recurrent expenditure increased, it could cause inflation.

Chief Whip of the ruling Rastriya Prajatantra Party Dilanath Giri said the budget was highly populist. “Our party will seriously discuss it and come up with an official view,” he said.

‘Discussion on new govt formation next’

KATHMANDU: Chairman of the Ruling CPN Maoist Centre Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday said the issue of forming next government under his leadership would be discussed after discussions on the budget in the Parliament. Dahal also hinted that the process of forming the next government would begin only after the Parliament passes the budget by July 15.  “We will discuss formation of the new government after discussions on the budget are completed,” he said. The budget is balanced and the attempts of making it pro-people are reflected, said Dahal. “It is clear that it stresses on implementing the constitution, speeding up reconstruction works and completing the remaining tasks of the peace process. However, there are issues that are worth comment and we will do it after studying it thoroughly.” The agitating Madhes based parties on Saturday continued boycotting the meeting of Legislature Parliament, saying the government had ignored their demands. The parties did not attend Saturday’s House meeting following the decision of United Democratic Madhesi Front to not attend the meeting.