Budget violated fiscal discipline: Mahat

Kathmandu, May 31

Former finance minister and Nepali Congress lawmaker Ram Sharan Mahat today said that the budget presented by Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel has violated fiscal discipline.

With the formation of a panel to probe the budget leak, as demanded by the main opposition party, discussions on the budget for fiscal year 2016/17 began today.

Beginning the discussion on the budget in the Parliament, NC lawmaker Mahat said that internal revenue collection cannot bear the recurrent expenditure.

The Budget has a target of Rs 565 billion revenue collection, but recurrent expenditure has been proposed to Rs 617 billion.

Claiming that FM Poudel ignored his suggestions, Mahat said that serious economic repercussions may occur as the development expenditure in the budget was less than the general expenditure which might trigger price hike and trade deficit.

Mahat also accused Poudel of giving continuity to many of the programmes initiated by him last year in such a way that all the credit would go to the UML.

He said the focus should be on effective mechanism for implementation as there has been misuse of social security allowance with 25 per cent eligible people not receiving it and 35 per cent ineligible people getting the allowance.

Former finance minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari suggested that the government form a monitoring committee under the chairmanship of the prime minister to ensure effective implementation of the budget.

Adhikary also expressed concern about the excessive recurrent expenditure compared to the internal revenue collection target.

Lawmaker Dhani Ram Poudel of the CPN-Maoist Centre said the budget has tried to strengthen local bodies, but has many shortcomings that should be corrected.

Similarly, Dilnath Giri of Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal criticised the budget as the government had not consulted coalition partners.

He said the budget allocated in the name of 22 persons should be scrapped if other personalities including Marichman Singh, Surya Bahadur Thapa and Padma Sundar Lawoti were not to be added to the list.

Lawmaker of MJF-Democratic Jitendra Dev sarcastically thanked the prime minister and finance minister for presenting a perfect election-oriented budget to benefit their party CPN-UML in the upcoming local elections.