Kathmandu Metropolitan City today unveiled a budget of approximately Rs 18.95 billion for the upcoming fiscal 2021-22. This marks an increase of around 20 per cent compared to the last fiscal budget which stood at Rs 15.50 billion.

The theme of the budget is 'Cultural City, Kathmandu Metropolitan City'.

The budget was presented by Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi Shrestha at the municipal assembly. It has allocated around Rs 3.75 billion for office operation and administration, Rs 555 million for economic development, Rs 10.80 billion for infrastructure development and Rs 1.15 billion for good governance and cross-cutting sectors.

The budget is based on the policies and programmes passed by the KMC executive earlier this week in accordance with the Local Government Operation Act, 2017. According to KMC, the proposed fiscal budget aims to address the adverse situation created by the COV- ID-19 pandemic, fulfil the development needs of people living in the metropolis, implement the suggestions and feedbacks collected from Client Satisfaction Survey conducted last year, and resolve the problems experienced in implementation of budgets in the previous years.

Similarly, the budget has accorded priority to the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 infection, waste management, gender equality and social inclusion, and protection and promotion of languages, cultures and historical heritages.

The budget states that KMC will bear 50 per cent of the premium for locals under the health insurance programme of the Government of Nepal.

KMC has also allocated budget for operation of Metropolitan Special Hospital with specialised services for senior citizens. Other annual activities proposed by the budget includes Mayor Illumination Programme and at least one public toilet, park and model school in each ward. Similarly, the budget involves programmes such as the establishment of Senior Citizens Meeting Centre, settlement of local disputes through reconciliation, special assistance to persons with disabilities, human rights promotion, basic urban physical infrastructure, entrepreneurship development, promotion of e-governance, sports development and cash for work, among others.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 25 2021, of The Himalayan Times.