LETTERS: Optimistic budget
It seems that the 2017/18 budget of Rs. 1,278.99 billion presented by the caretaker government is too high considering the low spending capacity of the government machinery. In the last 10 and half months, the government has been able to spend only 52 per cent of its 2016/17 budget. However, it has increased its next year’s budget 21.9 percent higher than this year’s budget keeping in mind the federal set up of the country in line with the new constitution “Budget priorities federal structure” (THT, May 30, Page 1).
The government deserves appreciation for its commitment to implement the new constitution by allocating necessary budget for the rural, provincial and central level of governments. The only concern of this huge amount of budget is whether the nation will be able to afford it at a time when it has to fully depend on its internal revenue to be collected from different kinds of taxes and donors contribution.
Looking at the budget, the government has allocated enough funds for 21 national pride projects and top priority projects considering their economic importance. More focus has been given to the post-earthquake reconstruction programme, rural network expansion, development of energy sector and entrepreneurship development programmes. Budgets have been allocated accordingly for the construction of Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track, Budhigandaki Hydropower project, postal highways and other ongoing high priority projects. These projects and programmes will directly contribute towards boosting the national economy.
Likewise, budgets for holding two tiers of elections have been allocated accordingly indicating the government’s commitment to implementation of the new constitution by 21 January 2018. The only concern is now that whether the ruling parties and opposition led by the UML will be able to bring RJP-N on board.
Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj
Sri Lanka flood
The floods and landslides have played havoc with Sri Lanka, causing great damage and casualty with the death toll crossing at least 126. The impacts of the monsoon in Sri Lanka are immense in that people are still under the debris of mudslide and many of them have been displaced.
A stitch in time saves nine; hence it is better to take precautionary steps in order to save the people from the impending floods that may be triggered by the monsoon.. Moreover, Sri Lanka is the hub of huge agricultural activities and beautiful vistas apart from being a great tourist attraction. For sure, the monsoon vagaries will dampen the spirit of Sri Lankans. The government in Sri Lanka must speed up the process of flood relief work.
Neighboring countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh should come forward to assist Sri Lanka in tackling the flood threats besides donating relief material.
P Senthil Saravana Durai, Mumbai