Dhangadi, March 24
Minister for Financial Affairs and Planning of Province 7 Jhapat Bohara has started discussions on the upcoming budget with lawmakers representing different political parties.
The minister held discussions with Nepali Congress and CPN-Maoist Centre lawmakers today and is expected to do the same with CPN-UML and Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmakers tomorrow.
“Despite being a partial one, the budget is important as it is going to the first of its kind to be presented by the provincial government and must therefore be effective,” said Bharat Bohara, the minister’s press adviser, adding that the ongoing discussions were focused on budgetary plans and policies.
As per sources, sectors such as agriculture, irrigation, road, drinking water and health will be prioritised in the upcoming budget.
During the discussion today, lawmakers suggested that the minister distribute budget ensuring proportional development of all nine districts of the province.
“As the province is bringing budget for the first time, it must be effective and we advised him to formulate budgetary plans and policy in such a way that the people could feel a change now,” said NC lawmaker Bharat Bahadur Khadka. CPN-MC lawmakers also said the budget should address the concerns of the people.
According to Minister Bohara, the budget meant for three months until the end of current fiscal will be worth Rs 1.02 billion. The provincial government has said that the budget will be made public by mid-April. “Though we’re trying our best to address maximum number of people in this budget, this is not possible due to the small size of the budget; we will bring a complete budget next fiscal by floating a complete model for the prosperity of the entire province,” said Minister Bohara, adding the government is preparing to expand tax net.
“We will rather identity new sources of revenue and bring those activities in tax net, rather than increasing the rate of tax,” he clarified.
A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.