Tuesday, May 29, 2018

    Nepal's Federal Budget 2018-19

    Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has launched the first ever federal budget of Rs 1.315 trillion for the fiscal year 2018/19, today.

    Out of the total budget, government aims to utilise Rs 845.5 billion as recurrent expenditure. Likewise, Rs314.28 billion and Rs155.18 billion have been earmarked for capital expenditure and financing provision, respectively.

    Moreover, the government has set a revenue collection target of Rs 831 billion. Likewise, the government will seek foreign grants and loans of Rs58 billion and Rs 253billion, respectively. Internal loan amounting Rs172 billion is expected to balance the expenditures and sources of the budget.

    Economic growth in the upcoming fiscal has been projected at 8 per cent.

    Government has prioritised generation of employment opportunities, promoting agriculture and tourism sectors, conserving water resources, enhancing quality of public service delivery in the first federal budget.

    Rs 3.10 billion has been allocated to initiate Prime Minister Employment Programme with an aim to generate employment opportunities. Moreover, the government has decided to provide 5 per cent concessional loan of Rs 700,000 backed by educational certificates to help young entrepreneurs to launch their ventures.

    With financial coordination with all local levels, the government has decided to establish at least one health centre in all of the 1200 wards within two years. In the first phase the government will grant Rs4 billion to the locals levels for establishing health centres. Likewise, the government has decided to depute at least one doctor in all of the health centres in the country. The government has allocated Rs 56.41 billion for the development of medical sector. Every community school to get high speed internet connection

    Sector-wise Budget allocation:
    > Health: Rs 56.41 billion
    > Education, Science and Technology: Rs 134 billion
    > Agriculture: Rs 33.71 billion
    > Tourism: Rs 5.20 billion
    > Energy: Rs 83.89 billion

    Budget Plan Highlights:
    > Education: The current state of Universities will be upgraded. Curriculum of schools will be improved, instilling a feeling of nationalism and responsibilities in the students.
    > Government to establish one stadium in each of the seven provinces.
    > Provision of air ambulances for emergency rescue service for pregnant women of rural areas.
    > Awareness on social ills such as witchery, chhau-padi among others to eventually eradicate such malpractices.
    > Women, Children and Senior Citizens: Initiatives would be taken to end violence against women. Priority would be given to children with disabilities. Retreats would be developed for elderly citizens.
    > Health insurance of Rs 100,000 for senior citizens above 70 years of age.
    > Government waives off loans taken by farmers from Sana Kishan Cooperative.
    > Agriculture Learning Centres to be established at all local levels.
    > Natural zoo and trails to be established in possible tourist destinations.
    > Cultivable lands shall not be used for constructing houses or other structures.
     > Government allocates budget to carry out feasibility study of iron mines and to carry out the mining.
    > Budget provision has been made to conserve water sources in the mountainous regions.
    > Rs 16.58 billion allocated to forest and environment sector.
    > Noise pollution, environmental pollution, rampant dust in Kathmandu to be brought under control.
    > Government announces five per cent export incentive.
    > Visit Nepal 2020 to be held to promote tourism.
    > Government to upgrade petroleum storage capacity, to hold fuel for three months.
    > Provision will be made towards the security of mountaineers and trekkers.
    > Aviation infrastructures to be expedited. Master-plan to upgrade domestic airport, Rs 19.35 billion allocated to aviation sector.
    > Internal tourism to be promoted with the slogan ‘Pahile Desh Ani Bidesh’ (country before foreign country).
    > Helipad would be constructed at all local levels.
    > Government has provisioned budget for the conservation of drinking water sources to manage drinking water in urban areas.
    > Allocation of Rs 24.5 billion to develop and conserve drinking water and manage water sources.
    > National Cleaning Campaign to be initiated in the upcoming fiscal.
    >  Toilet to be constructed in every house. Country to be made open defecation free zone.
    > Smart toilets with modern facilities to be built in public places.
    > 3,000 megawatts of electricity to be generated through public investment.
    > North-South transmission lines to be constructed within five years.
    > Rs 83.89 billion allocated to develop energy sector.
    > Budget has been allocated for the construction of Federal Parliament building.
    > Government launches Janata Aawas Programme, to provide Rs 50,000 as incentive to marginalised communities to buy zinc sheets for their houses.
    > Provision to make various rivers of Kathmandu Valley sewage free.
    > Rs 4.50 billion allocated to construct Madan Bhandari Highway.
    > Naubise Naghdhunga tunnel project to be initiated in the upcoming fiscal.
    > Rs 109 billion allocated to develop transportation infrastructures.
    > Cable car feasibility study to be conducted to upgrade transportation services in Kathmandu.
    > Government to implement Tarai-Madhes Prosperity Programme; Rs 2.6 billion allocated.
    > Every Nepali citizen to have bank account within a year.
    > Companies worth Rs 1 billion must be listed in stock market.
    > Government to ease the process of business registration and scrapping.
    > Government to monitor Non Governmental Organisations.
    > Rs 40 million to be allocated to all electoral constituencies.
    > ‘Human Rights in every household’ to be launched
    > Inflation benefits to civil servants increased to Rs 2,000, insurance of Rs 200,000, government to bear 50 per cent of premium charge.
    > Income tax slab increased to 10, 20 and 30 per cent.
    > Tax will be collected from public for the use of roads.
    > Government hikes tax on import of bikes exceeding 150 cc, and other vehicles above 1500 cc.
    > Strict action would be taken against those not complying with the revenue related regulations.

    Prime Minister, members of the Council of Ministers, members of both the houses of the parliament and foreign dignitaries were attending the presentation.

    source: the himalayan times, 29 May 2018