Provincial governments present budget

Biratnagar/Dhangadi, June 15

All seven provincial governments presented their budget for the new fiscal 2018/19 in their respective assemblies today.

The Province 1 government unveiled a budget worth Rs 35.936 billion, with 51.5 per cent and 41.5 per cent allocated for capital and current expenditures respectively. The budget which prioritises agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development, has also made allocations for education, healthcare, transportation, power generation and the environment.

The province has set aside Rs 9.50 billion for infrastructure development, while Rs 2.74 billion is meant for forest, environment, sanitation and drinking water. Another Rs 1.3 billion has been allocated for industrial development. Similarly, budget has also been allocated for MBBS scholarship programme for students from poor families.

Similarly, the budget of Province 2 is worth Rs 29.7838 billion, with Rs 15.311 billion and Rs 14.475 billion allocated under capital and current expenditure respectively. The budget has set aside over Rs 1 billion for conditional grants to local bodies, while Rs 1.44 billion rupees has been allocated for different forms of grants to farmers. Some 300 million rupees has been set aside for upgradation of Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, Narayani Sub-regional Hospital and Janakpur Zonal Hospital, whereas Rs 10 million has been earmaked for upgradation of Saptari’s Rupani Police Hospital into a trauma centre.

Meanwhile, opposition parties prevented Financial Affairs and Planning Minister Bijaya Yadav from tabling the budget today. Accusing the budget of being ministers-centred, opposition parties including Nepali Congress and NCP (NCP) obstructed the provincial assembly. They have demanded that the government allocate at least Rs 10 million under the heading of parliamentary development fund.

Province 3 government also presented a budget of Rs 35.61 billion today. Minister for Financial Affairs and Planning Kailash Dhungel has allocated Rs 13.86 billion for current expenditure and Rs 21.75 billion for the capital expenditure.

The provincial government has set aside Rs 1 billion for distribution among 119 local levels in line with standards set by Natural Source and Finance Commission. Minister Dhungel said that he had allocated Rs 3.63 billion for various types of the projects at the local levels. .

Province 4 has tabled a budget worth Rs 24 billion. The budget presented by Financial Affairs and Planning Minister Kirang Gurung has allocated Rs 6.915 billion for current expenditure, whereas the capital expenditure stands at Rs 15.90 billion, which makes up 66 per cent of the total budget. The provincial government has forwarded a number of programmes through its budget, such as increasing the annual provincial income by 8 per cent every year and pegging per capita income at 2500 US dollar, while construction of fast tracks from Korala to Pokhara and from Pokhara to Dumkibas is also prioritized.

Province 5 government tabled a budget of Rs 28.9 billion for the new fiscal. Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel presented the budget in the Provincial Assembly meeting. The provincial government has allocated Rs 11.46 billion for administrative expenditure and Rs 16.62 billion  for capital expenditure.

Province-6 presented a budget worth 28.282 billion rupees. Presented by Financial Affairs and Planning Minister Prakash Jwala, the budget has allocated Rs 6.638 billion and Rs 21.244 billion under current and capital expenses respectively, while Rs 400 million has been set aside for financial management. A fund of Rs 20 billion has been allocated for various projects to be built under cooperation of the central government, donor agencies and private sector. The projects include Bheri-Babai Diversion, Nalsinggad Irrigation Project, Jamunaha-Hilsa Fast Track and Surkhet-Bardia tunnel road.

The budget has allocated 1.20 billion rupees for People’s Road Programme, as per which roads will be built in all seven provincial election constituencies. Similarly, another 1.28 billion rupees has been allocated for the construction of roads between district headquarters and the provincial headquarters and roads linking the province with other provinces.

In province 7, Minister for Financial Affairs and Planning Jhapat Bahadur Bohora tabled the budget of Rs 25.6 billion in the parliament today. Of the total budget, 13.35 billion and Rs 11.71 billion have been allocated for recurrent and capital expenditures respectively.

The government has allocated Rs 5 billion for infrastructure development and Rs 20 crore and Rs 10 crore for provincial bus operation and Hydro Power Development Board establishment respectively.

The budget has included agriculture, tourism, physical construction, self-employment, social development, security on the priority list.

The government has set aside the budget for mainstreaming women, Dalits, ethnic groups, and marginalised people.

(With inputs from Janakpurdham, Hetauda, Pokhara, Bhairahawa and Surkhet correspondents)