Nepal | July 14, 2020

NC points out flaws in fiscal budget

Says Rs 6 billion set aside for COVID crisis not enough

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, MAY 29

The main opposition Nepali Congress today consulted former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat, economist Swarnim Wagle and former vice-chairpersons of National Planning Commission Jagadish Chandra Pokharel and Govinda Pokharel on the fiscal budget presented by the government in the Parliament yesterday.

As suggested by the experts, the NC has decided to point out major flaws of the budget, including the issue of inadequate budget to check the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, over dependence on domestic and foreign loan and lack of clear vision to revive the national economy affected by the lockdown, NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand told THT.

Khand said the government proposed to arrange around 36 per cent of the budget amount in the form of domestic and foreign loan and grant, but since the coronavirus had badly affected the economy of all the countries, the government might not get the anticipated foreign loan and grant. He said the government had earmarked only six billion rupees to cope with the COVID-19 crisis in the next fiscal which would be far from enough as World Health Organisation and experts had warned that threat posed by COVID-19 was unlikely to subside soon.

Khand said the government failed to bring programmes to revive industries, hotels and tourism sectors that had been paralysed by the prolonged lockdown.

If tourism and other industries are not revived, the government will not be able to meet its revenue target, which will ultimately ruin the national economy, added Khand. He said the government had failed to bring enough programmes to create jobs for lakhs of migrants, who would be forced to remain in the country as the pandemic had badly affected the labour destinations as well.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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