Budget ceiling likely to be Rs 1,500 billion

Kathmandu, March 20

The National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance have reached an understanding to keep the budget for the fiscal 2018-19 below Rs 1,500 billion.

The budget for the fiscal 2017-18 was Rs 1,278 billion.

MoF Under Secretary Ishwori Aryal told THT that the new budget would be based on the government’s policy and programmes and the ministry would finalise budget ceiling within this week. MoF has started collecting programmes of all ministries, departments, provinces and local levels to incorporate in the budget. The MoF has asked all the government agencies to send their estimated budget and policy and programmes by the second week of May.

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will unveil the government’s policy and programmes in the Parliament. As per the constitutional provision, the government has to unveil new fiscal budget in the Parliament by May 29. Before that the Parliament has to endorse the government’s policy and programmes.

The new budget will focus on implementation of federalism, according to the secretariat of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli. The federal government has to allocate budget to seven provincial governments and 753 local levels throughout the country. Apart from development works, the budget will focus on building infrastructure in provinces and local levels, management of human resources and for administrative works, according to the PM’s Secretariat.

According to sources, the budget will also focus on ensuring prosperity based on socialism. The joint election manifesto of the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre stated that Nepal would graduate to a developing country in just five years. Projects related to economic growth will be pursued with an aim of making Nepal a prosperous country as stated in the manifesto. The policy and programmes will be formulated on the basis of the left alliance’s election manifesto and recommendation of left alliance task force led by Bamdev Gautam on good governance and prosperity.

Participation of the private sector in all organs of the National economy will be encouraged. Investment-friendly environment, labour-friendly relations and security of investments and profits will be ensured. Public-private partnership will also be given utmost priority.

The left alliance has promised that the new education policy will aim at developing 70 per cent technical and 30 per cent non-technical human resources. They have pledged to invest 20 per cent of the total budget in the education sector.