By Our Reporter
The caretaker government on Monday unveiled the budget of Rs 1.279 trillion for the coming fiscal year 2017/18.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna BahadurMahara unveiled the budget at the Legislature Parliament meeting late in the afternoon.
The new budget, largest in terms of its size in history, has given special priority to implementation of federalism, large infrastructure projects and post-quake reconstruction.
The size of the budget is nearly 22 per cent bigger than the budget of fiscal year 2016/17.
Of the total budget, Rs. 804 billion is set aside as recurrent expenditure, Rs 335 billion as capital expenditure and Rs 140 billion as financing provision for the coming fiscal year.
Finance MinisterMahara expected that the GDP growth rate would be 7.2 per cent, the highest in recent years, agriculture sector would reach 5.3 per cent, the industrial sector would grow by 11 per cent, service sector would grow by 6 per cent in the coming fiscal year.
Minister Mahara also projected that the inflation rate would remain at 7 per cent in the coming fiscal year.
The government has decided to add Rs 100,000 and provide Rs 300, 000 to earthquake victims for the construction of a house in the quake-affected areas.
It also aims at developing satellite cities in Kathmandu and mega cities in each province, constructing eight international standard cricket stadiums across the nation and expedite the construction of Mulpani Cricket Stadium.
The government has also presented ambitious projects of building a tunnel from Koteshwor to Suryabinayak of Bhaktapur district.
The budget has also allotted Rs 13 billion for the completion of Pokhara, Bhairahawa regional airports and Kathmandu-Terai fast track road. The government has also disbursed Rs 3 billion and 570 million for the Melamchi Drinking water project. The government has also vowed to upgrade the run-way of Tribhuvan International Airport.
Similarly, the government has planned to eradicate load-shedding from the nation by generating 17,000 megawatts electricity. Likewise, the budget has allocated Rs 10 billion for Budi Gandaki Hydro Project and projected that the Chameliya and Kulekhani III would be completed next year.
Likewise, the government has also decided to provide a grant to Rural Municipalities, Municipalities, and Metropolis from the Central Government. Rural Municipality would get a minimum grant of Rs 100 million to a maximum grant of Rs 390 million, Municipality would get minimum grant of Rs 150 million to a maximum grant of Rs 430 million. Similarly, Metropolitan cities would get the minimum grants of Rs 400 million to a maximum grant of Rs 640 million.
The budget has also kept the provision of opening a bank account for every migrant worker before leaving for their destination to keep a record of remittance and utilise their hard earned money in productive sectors including ‘remit hydro’.
The government has also incorporated the provision of distributing teachers’ remuneration, education materials, textbooks and scholarships amount up to grade 10 from local bodies.
FM Mahara also said that the budget has kept a provision to take actions against the contractors failing to complete the projects at stipulated times.
FM Minister said that 400,000 new jobs would be created by implementing the budget.
Mahara has planned to generate Rs 730 billion in revenues, principal repayment of Rs 15 billion, foreign grants worth Rs 72 billion and foreign loan of Rs 214 billion to manage the expenditure. The size of the budget deficit is Rs 461 billion.
Considering the size and programmes it included, the budget looks ambitious. Mahara left no space for complementary budget which has irked the NC leaders who are likely to look after the portfolio of the Finnace Ministry in the new government.