Laxmi Capital News
Budget disappoints private sector

The provincial heads of the Federationof Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and businesspeople acrossthe country have termed the new budget  underwhelming. Though apparently grand, it lacks substance, they said. 

According to Mohan Prasad Shrestha,Province 5 treasurer of Nepal Chamber of Commerce, the private sector wasexpecting a far better budget plan from the government. However, their hopeshave gone unmet. 

“We hoped it would be different from thepast. But, we feel there is not much change. It looks a bit progressive but notas much as we had thought,” he said, adding that it was low on ‘specifics’.

Businesspersons and industrialists fromProvince 3 have expressed doubts over the implementation of the budget. DrTilChandra Bhattarai, central member of FNCCI, stated that it is not veryconvincing. “Many crucial things have not been covered by the budget. Moreover,we are doubtful that even the few positive things it has promised will beimplemented tomorrow,” he said. 

According to Bhattarai, railway, airwayand road development has received a good slice of the budget pie. Yet, thisalone would not help boost tourism and the private sector. The budget has notaddressed the middle class and there are no plans to maximize local production,he observed. “Industry has not been a priority.” 

Former member of FNCCI NirmalChaudharicommented that the budget has failed to breathe new  life into tourism,agriculture or manufacturing . “Even infrastructure-wise, I’m not impressed.The government should have thought of better alternatives to the manydilapidated roads. In lack of good transportation, many things have beencrippled, including business,” he said. 

Province 2 president of FNCCI Shiva Shankar ‘Hira’ compared the budget to the proverbial ‘elephant’steeth’. “They show one set of teeth but the real teeth remain hidden. Though itlooks grand from the outside, it is not going to yield any results,” hesaid. 

He added that the government has failedto focus on tourism and agriculture, which are the main hopes for developmentin Province  2. “For instance, they could have talked about exporting ourmangoes from Siraha, which is famous for the fruit. Similarly, there is nomention of promoting religious sites. They have simply ignored tourism potential here,” he added. 

LalitSah, president of Janakpur Chamberof Commerce and Industry, also expressed his dissatisfaction. He said thegovernment has failed miserably  to appreciate the potentials of Province2. “The budget has not reflected the spirit of the common people. It does notplease the private sector either,” he said. 

The business sector in Province 4 isalso not happy with the budget. According to Ananda Raj Mulmi, former presidentof FNCCI, the budget lacks any novelty and when it comes to Province 4 and hasfailed to recognize the province’s special potentials.  “The budget neededto identify the potentials of the provinces and plan accordingly. The budget is superficial and  will not yield any significant result,” hesaid. 

The business community in Province 7likewise expressed little excitement over the budget. “There is no plan topromote the export of our products. Employment generation also does not seem tobe a government priority,” said Shankar Bogati, president of FNCCI in theprovince. “The private sector had hoped the government would speak aboutlinking UraiBhanjyang of Bajhang to Gaurifanta to access the borders of bothIndia and China. But the budget is silent on this. There are many such lapses.We don’t feel encouraged at all,” he added. 

Source: MyRepublica 31st May, 2018

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