Huge rise in aid needed to sustain budget

Kathmandu, July 16, 2005

The catch in the budget document lies in the projection made by finance minister Madhukar SJB Rana in terms of expected foreign loans and grants that are supposed to keep the economy afloat. In a budget worth Rs 126 billion, 885.1 million, estimated deficit is Rs 15.9 billion. The deficit will occur despite the projections made by Rana of receiving foreign loans to the tune of Rs 14.5 billion. This is an estimated rise of 64.9 per cent compared to a mere 15.5 per cent achieved during 2004-5, amounting to a total of Rs 8.8 billion. The other leg on which the minister has balanced budget estimation is foreign grants. He hopes that foreign grants will rise by 67.3 per cent compared to a negative growth of one per cent in 2004-05. The country received foreign grants amounting to Rs11.28 billion in 2003-04 which went down to Rs 11.17 billion this year. Rana projects that foreign grants in 2005-06 will be worth Rs 18.69 billion. The projection comes in the wake of many donors withdrawing or withholding support to Nepal due to ongoing violence and unsatisfactory political situation. Out of the estimated budget of Rs 126 billion, 885.1 million, Rana has allocated Rs 75 billion, 850 million and 33 thousand for recurrent expenditure while Rs 37 billion, 233 million and 854 thousand has been set aside for capital expenditure. The estimated budget deficit comes to be over Rs 15 billion compared to Rs 13 billion.

Landslip in Muglin-Narayangadh road

Chitwan, July 16, 2005

A special campaign is on to check landslides on the Muglin-Narayangadh road section. The campaign, initiated by the Ministry of Water Resources, Muglin-Narayangadh Water-borne Calamity Control Project (MNWBCCP) under the Water-borne Calamity Control Department, is focussing on five spots known to be sensitive landslip points. According to the manager of M-NWBCCP, Dr Rameshman Tuladhar,walls 45 metres long and 17 check-dams have already been built along 31-km sections of the Narayangadh-Muglin road. This apart, tenacious-root grass has been planted in the landslide-affected areas.

The M-NWBCCP has also constructed check dams in the Gaighat River located at intervals of 18.5km from the Narayangadh and Andheri River areas and also at intervals of 23.5km metres on the Narayangadh-Muglin section. Check-dams have also been constructed in Simaltal area at intervals of 24.8km under the same section. “Our main focus is how to prolong the life of the road. This can only be done by protecting wetlands along the road section,” said Dr Surendra Prasad Joshi, project engineer.