Laxmi Capital News
Eight per cent growth target achievable FinMin

Dispelling concerns that the government might have set an over-ambitiouseconomic growth target, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada said the target ofeight per cent was achievable and was based on growth projections ofprioritised sectors.

Addressing mediapersonsduring a budgetary interaction held here today, Khatiwada said, “The growthrate has been calculated on the basis of projected growth rates in agriculture,industrial and service sectors.” On a lighter note, he responded to formerfinance minister Ram Sharan Mahat’s comment on the economic growth target,Khatiwada said, “As a sign of respect to Mahat, I will aim for 7.9 per centeconomic growth.”

At adifferent programme held in the capital today, former minister Mahat had saidif the country was able to achieve the eight per cent growth target as aimed inthe budget, he could be termed a ‘failed minister’.

During theinteraction, Finance Minister Khatiwada explained that the federal budget forthe upcoming fiscal, which was unveiled in the Parliament yesterday, primarilyfocused on boosting the country’s production base and generating employmentopportunities for holistic development of Nepal.

He added, “Acountry can be prosperous if its budget addresses concerns of each citizen. Asemployment is directly related to every individual and household, the federalbudget has prioritised opening new doors to employment opportunities in thecountry by promoting entrepreneurship and enhancing the production sector.”

Stressingthat citizens’ health and education determine their quality of work, Khatiwadasaid the budget had done the needful to enhance health and education servicesin the country and increase people’s access to these basic needs.

As perKhatiwada, quality education and good health are not the only prerequisites forstronger economic growth. Skilled manpower also has an equal role to play whichis why the government has envisioned setting up at least one skill developmentcentre in each local unit.

“Thegovernment has focused on employment generation rather than social securityschemes because people’s life can be more secure through jobs rather thansocial security facilities,” added Khatiwada.

He vowed toeffectively implement the Prime Minister’s Employment Programme announced inthe budget. In a bid to assure rights of workers under this programme,Khatiwada said the government would soon prepare a guideline ensuring minimumwages of workers and other provisions related to their compensation.

However,Khatiwada said the Prime Minister’s Employment Programme would basically aim atgenerating jobs for low-income households and citizens living in abjectpoverty.

Khatiwadaclaimed that the government’s aim of doubling agricultural production withinfive years and attracting two million tourists annually by 2020 was possible.“To achieve the agricultural targets, the government will promote agroindustries, encourage use of technology in agriculture and run the PrimeMinister’s Agriculture Modernisation Project in full swing,” he added.

To increasethe inflow of foreign tourists, Khatiwada said the government would expediteprocesses of constructing all planned domestic and international airports,identify new tourist destinations, initiate special tourism promotionprogrammes and packages targeting Chinese and Indian tourists and celebrate2020 as ‘Visit Nepal Year’.

Source: The HimalayanTimes, 31st May 2018

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