Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has said that the budget set aside to Members of Parliament (MPs) for their electoral constituency development will not be misused.
Speaking at a meeting of Legislature-Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Mahat said the allocated budget will, instead, promote regional development.
As per the national budget announced for the next fiscal year 2014/15, each directly elected MP will get Rs 10 million every year to take ahead development works initiated by him/her.
In addition, all 601 MPs, including the proportionately elected ones, will receive Rs 1.5 million each to carry out development works in their home districts every year.
In a different note, the Finance Minister said Nepal needs policy reforms to achieve a high economic growth rate in the next 15-20 years.
“We further need to create local job opportunities through foreign direct investment (FDI) and review transportation cost so as to bring down the production cost.”
Commenting on the budget, leader of opposition UCPN (Maoist), Baburam Bhattarai, alleged that the budget is “regressive” and maintains “status quo”.
“Wooing FDI at this point of time is not possible, as Nepal lies between two giants – India and China,” claimed Bhattarai.
“The budget focuses on large-scale and bureaucratic capital,” Bhattarai, a former finance minister himself, said, without explaining the terminologies he used.
Nepali Congress vice president Ramchandra Poudel said it is not wise to defame lawmakers just because the government has allocated budget for them to develop their constituencies.
CPN-UML’s leader and former finance minister, Bharat Mohan Adhikari said the budget is positive in totality but has not been able to incorporate government’s all policies and programs announced earlier.
“Nepal is chiefly an agrarian economy, but it is unfortunate that we import food in large quantity,” Adhikari said.