Budget focuses on economic revival, implementation challenging: Mahat
Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat asserted that budget for the next fiscal year 2015-16 is focused on economic recovery and reconstruction but also accepted that full implementation is a challenging task.
The fiscal policy will help economic recovery and reconstruction, he said, addressing the post-budget interaction, here today.
Mahat has presented Rs 819.47 billion budget for the next fiscal year 2015-16 in the House yesterday. Claiming that the fiscal policy for the next fiscal year is comparatively 'balanced', he said, implementation of the budget – by the government authorities – and lack of capacity of private sector including construction sector are the key hurdles in the success of the budget as usual.
Though the finance ministry has allocated sufficient funds for different projects, he said the responsibility of implementation falls solely on the shoulders of concerned ministries. "Budget does not bring miracles," Mahat said, "It only gives a framework. It is up to the state machineries, private sector and concerned stakeholders to implement the budgetary programmes. The government can only create environment, devise mechanism and frame necessary laws."
Asking the secretaries to spend the budget he said that the government has allocated Rs 91 billion for reconstruction. "Six percent economic growth is achievable, if the budget is fully implemented," Mahat added. The budget has allocated Rs 74 billion to recently-formed Reconstruction Authority and Rs 17 billion – to ministries till the authority gets its full shape and operational – for reconstruction.
"The budget has been allocated keeping the regional development and economic balance at the centre, rather than sector-wise programmes," he claimed, adding that the economy will expand after the implementation of the budget that aims at spurring rapid economic growth. "The budget has addressed needs of Madhes-Tarai region for balanced regional economic development."
"Agriculture development has been prioritised so has been hydropower and social security," Mahat said, stressing that the budget gives priority to economic growth. But he said that special attention should be given to its effective implementation. "There will not be any dearth of funds for the key projects, but the implementation should be paced up,” he added. "Private sector and development partners should extend support in the implementation of the budget as the government is only a facilitator," Mahat clarified, "The government is committed to create the environment for increased economic activities and provide required legal framework but private sector should increase its capacity."
Stating that Nepal has been spending a huge amount in social security compared to South Asian countries, Mahat said more than two per cent of the total GDP is spent in social security.
National Planning Commission (NPC) member Dr Govinda Nepal, central bank governor Dr Chiranjivi Nepal, finance secretary Suman Prasad Sharma, secretaries of different ministries and the representatives of the private sector including Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Pashupati Murarka, and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) also shared their views on budget.