Finally, the government has brought a realistic and sustainable budget for Nepal as per our economic condition. The private sector had made many demands with the government to bring stimulus packages to address the current difficult situation.

Meanwhile, the government has addressed some of the issues like reducing the taxes in the tourism sector. The private sector is very optimistic about the budget. However, it remains to be seen if the plans in the budget will be implemented effectively. If the government is able to handle the inflow of returnee migrant workers and address the employment issue, then the private sector will help the government in a better way.

This is a historically bad budget for private sector hydropower developers.

The government has said that it will scrap the licence of any developer who is unable to start their respective project. We didn’t expect such an announcement during a difficult time like this. I feel that the budget has not addressed the challenges faced by the domestic power producers. No substantial facility has been offered to domestic hydropower developers. The government has said it will add another 1,300 megawatts of electricity in the upcoming fiscal year but it has failed to address the sustainability needs of the existing projects and we have raised this concern since long. Similarly, the budget has not talked about under-construction projects with total capacity of 3,000 MW whose construction completion date will be delayed due to the impact of the coronavirus contagion and subsequent lockdown.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.