Let’s work together for implementation of budget: FinMin

Kathmandu, June 3

Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada today urged all to stop the blame game over the budget for 2018-19 and work together for its implementation.

Responding to queries raised by lawmakers in the House of Representatives, Finance Minister Khatiwada termed the budget ‘dynamic’, and added that it was not wise to criticise it just because some schemes were not included.

He also said that the budget had prioritised employment, productivity, tax reforms, corruption control and good governance, among other things.

On comments that the budget was centralised and lower bodies were not allocated enough resources, the minister said resources allocation was done on the basis of constitutional provision. Referring to a huge amount of frozen budget, he also said authority would be delegated  gradually as the capacity of local bodies improved.

Khatiwada also reiterated that the government had not forgotten social security and would come with appropriate schemes. The finance minister also presented appropriation bill, national credit bill, and loan and guarantee bill (22nd amendment) in the Parliament.

Earlier in the day, taking part in the budget discussion, Nepali Congress deputy parliamentary party leader Bijay Kumar Gachhadar expressed doubts over the implementation of the budget. “Eight percent growth target, development and job creations are good aspects, but implementation is questionable,” he said. Gachhadar also said that free market concept liberalisation and privatisation were introduced by the NC, and that it still remained the foundation for economic growth and development .

NC lawmaker Prakash Man Singh termed the budget ‘pessimistic’, stating the government was trying to control private sector in a country which had adopted liberal economic policy.

NC youth leader Gagan Kumar Thapa said the budget lacked clarity, creativity and roadmap, and that it would face difficulties in implementation. Pointing out that infrastructure budget was scattered, he expressed doubts over whether desired results could be achieved.

Thapa also said that the revised tax rates would discourage foreign investment.