Laxmi Capital News
FM sets out budget priorities

KATHMANDU : Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada haspresented the priorities and principles of the appropriations bill for theupcoming fiscal year 2018/19 in federal parliament, outlining fundamentals andareas that the government would consider while bringing the budget for thefirst time after the operationalization of the new federal structure. 

Among other things, Finance Minister Khatiwada hasannounced that no resources would be allocated to small projects in the federalbudget. Stating that such small projects are implemented by sub-nationalgovernments in the federal system, he said that the resources would be utilizedon the basis of effectiveness of the projects.

According to the new priorities and principles thatFinance Minister Khatiwada presented in parliament on Wednesday, the governmentwould make fundamental rights and directive principles enshrined in theconstitution as the guiding principles of the budget. 

Presenting the principles and priorities of thegovernment in parliament, Finance Minister Khatiwada hinted that the upcomingbudget would be aligned with the election manifesto of the left-alliance. 

“The election manifesto of the left-alliance that wasendorsed by the people in the election as well as the policy and institutionalreform decisions taken by the government formed after the election would be thebasis of the new budget,” said Finance Minister Khatiwada.

Meeting the commitment of the country made through the14th periodic plan to graduate from the least developed country (LDC) andachieve the sustainable development goals are other major priorities of the newbudget, according to Finance Minister Khatiwada. 

The budget is also likely to introduce socialism-orientedprograms if the priorities and principles highlighted by the Finance Ministeris something to go by. 

The government led by the CPN-UML has also vowed tomobilize huge investment for faster economic growth, change structure ofproduction and allocate needed resources to ensure efficiency. “The governmentwould play a leadership role to establish welfare state and maintain socialjustice,” he added. 

All Nepalis will be brought under the social security netwhile the existing social security programs will be integrated, according tothe Finance Minister Khatiwada.

The government wants to develop the private sector as apartner for economic growth while utilizing the foreign investment as asupplement to national capital formation.

As the country has moved toward the implementation of thefederalism with the formation of provincial governments, Finance MinisterKhatiwada stated that revenue-sharing and fiscal transfer to the provinces andthe local units will be based on provisions, formula and standards set by theconstitution and related laws. 

Projects and programs currently run by the centralgovernment would be handed over to the respective provinces and local unitsalong with necessary resources.

In order to gradually reduce dependence on foreignassistance, the government is going to mobilize foreign assistance on areas ofnational priority. “Foreign assistance will be utilized mainly on big physicaland social infrastructure projects, export promotion, capacity development andtechnology transfer,” read the Priorities and Principles of the Ministry ofFinance. 

Finance Minister Khatiwada also announced that a separatelaw would be introduced to address the delay in big infrastructure projects andlow quality of construction and cost escalation of projects. 

Source : My Republica, 10th May 2018

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