Nepal | July 11, 2020

In their opinion …

Himalayan News Service
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Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Vice-president Chandra Prasad Dhakal. Photo: Balkrishna Thapa Chhetri/ THT

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.


Nepal Bankers’ Association President Bhuvan Dahal. Photo: Bal Krishna Thapa/THT

The federal budget for fiscal 2020-21 is positive and realistic taking into account the massive setback that the country has faced due to the COVID-19. I personally think that the budget has addressed the major things that need to be done next year. However, there are some lapses in the budget and it is not possible to address each and every aspect of the economy. The major positive point is that it has addressed the hard-hit sector like tourism, focused on infrastructure and agriculture sector where most of the employment is generated. Likewise, making payment gateway, making digital Nepal as soon as possible, avoiding cash and making a cashless economy, among others, are some other positive aspects of the budget.


Hotel Association Nepal President Shreejana Rana. Photo: THT

Even during this crucial time, the government has announced a budget that is similar to those announced during normal times. The government has allocated budget for destination development and infrastructure development of the tourism sector but it has not allocated budget to sustain the industry. The budget did not match our expectations.

However, destination development and infrastructure development and domestic tourism promotion are some good announcements. Likewise, loan at five per cent interest rate is also appreciable. The budget overall seems more effective for startup investors than those who are already in the business.


Independent Power Producers’ Association-Nepal President Shailendra Guragain. Photo: THT

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.

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