Govt begins preparations for upcoming budget

Kathmandu: The Ministry of Finance has started the preparation of budget for the Fiscal Year 2021/22. Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel has started collecting opinions and suggestions for the upcoming budget amidst the fluid political situation.

In this connection, the Ministry of Finance has taken the opinion of the former finance secretaries regarding the preparation of the budget for the fiscal year 2021/22. The former secretaries have suggested to focus on the budget for the coming fiscal year to revive the economy, which has been in a state of crisis due to the covid 19 epidemic. They have also requested for special emphasis on infrastructure expansion and capacity building in the health sector.

Former Chief Secretary and Finance Secretary Bimal Koirala said that the covid 19 and announcement of election has added a new challenge in the preparation of the budget for the coming fiscal year. He suggested that while formulating the budget, it would be appropriate to pay attention to economic indicators and economic issues in addition to various technical issues.

Former Minister and Finance Secretary Bidhyadhar Mallik pointed out the need to look at development as a whole rather than limiting it to a few economic indicators. He said that there is a need to formulate policies and programs for the coming fiscal year to create the necessary environment for private investment expansion and increase the contribution of the industrial sector to the economy.

Another former secretary, Rameshwar Khanal, emphasized on building business environment and policy and legal reforms. He opined that it would be appropriate to formulate the budget only by formulating various economic scenarios, drafting policies and programs and evaluating the timing of budget formulation.

He suggested to remove the projects and programs that would be included in the budget of the current fiscal year by giving priority while formulating programs and projects in the post-Covid 19 period. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive budget, and said that it was even more important to increase spending.

Former Finance Secretary Shantaraj Subedi took Covid 19 as an opportunity and said that it is necessary to bring a budget to address the areas affected by Covid-19. Another former secretary, Suman Prasad Sharma, suggested increasing spending in the productive sector in the coming fiscal year.

Former Secretary Yubaraj Bhusal said that it is necessary to reduce the construction of unnecessary infrastructure by giving special priority to the health sector. Former Secretary Shankar Raj Adhikari laid special emphasis on economic growth with public-private partnership.

Former Secretary Rajan Khanal drew the attention of the Ministry of Finance to the fact that public institutions would become a huge burden for the country if reforms were not made in time. Pointing out the need to give high priority to the improvement of the public sector, he expressed the view that it was necessary to change the concept of program and project management itself.

Former Finance Secretary and Economic Development Advisor to the Prime Minister Lal Shankar Ghimire stressed on the need to develop a self-reliant economy.