Standing Committee member of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey argued that the budget presented by the government on May 28 for the coming fiscal year 2020/21 is positive.
In a virtual discussion organized by Society of Economic Journalists Nepal (SEJON), today, former Finance Minister Pandey expressed happiness noting it has placed emphasis on several pertinent issues including human health and economy.
He shared incorporating the plan of constructing 300-bed hospital in Kathmandu, 50-bed hospital each in all seven states and hospitals in local levels to control contagious disease in itself is significant. The vision of deputing health workers in all local levels when there are no doctors even in district hospitals itself however is challenging.
There would be multiple impacts in coming days when the budget earmarked for the current fiscal year has not been implemented and revenue collection and remittance have declined, added Pandey.
The former Finance Minister opined that the government has made special arrangement to cut down current expenditure, stop unnecessary office expenses and programmes as well as increasing budget of around Rs 22 billion in health sector is natural and significant.
He suggested although the policy for creating around 600,000 jobs is important, works should be carried out integrating the budget of different headings in a single basket.
Arrangements should have been made for those wanting to take loans on the recommendations of rural municipality and municipality after establishing a fund of Rs 50 billion, he viewed.
He suggested proper utilisation of funds earmarked to generate employment opportunities. Praising the government’s efforts to cut unnecessary expenditures, he viewed that the question of whether the goals of achieving economic growths is still there.
He suggested that the government should provide special care to the collection of domestic revenues and loans in the context when there are no foreign assistances. There is a need to increase the demand for agricultural products like vegetables to boost country economy while expanding domestic market, he said.
Leader of main opposition Nepali Congress and former Finance Minister, Dr Ram Sharan Mahat brushed off the budget for the fiscal year 2020/21 merely as a publicity stunt. Despite incorporating some important sectors like agriculture and employments, the government lacks capacity to implement the budget, he claimed.
The announcement of collecting 36 percent of the budget from domestic sources is not appreciative, he said. Despite some arrangements stipulated in the budget being positive, the government should give special heeds to its implementation, said former Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Dr Shankar Sharma.
Source: National News Agency Nepal