As a member of the United Nations, Nepal is bound to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 goals determined by the world body which have to be met by 2030.

Nepal requires an annual budget equivalent to Rs 2 trillion 25 billion to advance towards the SDGs.

This year, the government unveiled a budget of Rs 1632.083 billion which is less by Rs 400 billion than the size of the budget allocated for the SDGs.

The incumbent government brought the Bill by slightly cutting the size of the budget to replace the ordinance budget presented by the erstwhile government.

The budget for the current fiscal has been already endorsed by the House of Representatives.

Of the total budget, the federal government has Rs 607.79 billion (41.52 per cent) towards current expenditure, Rs 378 billion (23.13 per cent) towards capital expenditure and Rs 189.44 billion (11.60 per cent) towards fiscal management.

Likewise, Rs 387.03 billion (23.72 per cent) of the budget has been allocated towards fiscal transfer in the province and local levels.

Of the budget released towards fiscal transfer, Rs 325.075 billion (84.11 per cent) including matching grants falls under current expenditure and Rs 61.55 billion (15.89 per cent) under capital expenditure.

According to National Planning Commission Secretary Kewal Prasad Bhandari, an average annual budget of Rs 1,111 billion needs to be managed by the government sector, Rs 739 billion by the private sector and Rs 87 billion by the cooperative and non-government sectors. Similarly, domestic sector is expected to contribute Rs 88 billion of the annual budget.

The NPC has already assessed financial resources and potential areas of resources to implement the SDGs by identifying the need of Sustainable Development Goals in Nepal, cost estimations and financial strategies required to advance towards the SDGs.

In average, Rs 585 billion is seen to be insufficient annually, and that needs to be invested by the government and private sector.

In order to manage low financial resources, it is necessary to improve tax administration by implementing a progressive tax system internally and widening the tax base.

Secretary Bhandari said it was necessary to encourage the private and other sectors to make investment, make public-private partnership system effective, and mobilise foreign development aid and foreign investment.

Similarly, there is need to increase financial scope by preparing the basis of mobilisation of additional resources in the federation, provinces and local levels in the phase of implementation of fiscal federalism.

The policy-level, legal and institutional structures have been prepared to make the Sustainable Development Goals effective and systematic.

Its systematic mobilisation is essential.

A draft of a new Statistics Act has been prepared to develop a reliable and strong statistics system.

Likewise, national strategy related to statistics has been prepared and implemented.

With the beginning of National Census 2021, the government can get required statistics.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 24 2021, of The Himalayan Times.