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Risk-bearing vital for economic achievements: Finance Minister Pun

2024 May 02, 14:42,

 Finance Minister Barshaman Pun has said the cooperation of former administrators and economic experts is needed to make the budget for an upcoming fiscal year objective and in compatible with time.

According to the Finance Minister's Secretariat, the Minister sought submissions from former finance secretaries, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) former governor and former vice chairs of the National Planning Commission in a bid to secure their opinions and expertise in regard with the new budget.

During the meeting, the participants advised the government to bear in mind the implementation aspect of the budget, making its realistic.

The advised for increasing capital expenditures with the reduction in the general expenditures, adopting a policy for the promotion of export trade.

The submissions from the related people were for not investing from the federal government in small projects remaining within the jurisdictions of the province and local government, for resolving the problems that plague the cooperative sector and for carrying out a structural improvement of bodies responsible for implementing the budget.

Similarly, they were of the views of enhancing cooperation among the federal, province and local levels for implementing federalism effectively, accelerating and concluding the current big projects, garnering more foreign investment and motivating the morale of bureaucracy.

NPC former vice chairs Dr Pushpa Raj Kandel, Dr Dinesh Chandra Devkota and Deependra Bahadur Kshetry, NRB former governor Dipendra Purush Dhakal, former chief secretary Bimal Koirala, former finance secretaries Krishnhari Sharma, Suman Sharma, Shankar Adhikari, Rajan Adhikari and Ramsharan Pudasaini were among those present in the meeting.

 Following the meeting, the Minister said the government has realised that the government, political parties, private sector, bureaucrats and experts from the economic sector are worried about the economic slowdown and eager to explore ways for the economic revival in the country.

He stressed the need of harmonization between the government's fiscal policy and the monetary policy issued by Nepal Rastra Bank. The Finance Minister suggested gradually loosening the strictures put in place when the economy was in crisis, saying discussions were on with the NRB to that connection.

According to the Finance Minister, the government is moving ahead to lift up the weak confidence of the private sector and the bureaucracy. "The confidence level of the private sector and the administrative mechanism is weak. A situation has arisen in which the political leadership has to take risk to give impetus to the country's development," he reiterated.

Expressing concern over the situation in which people who are performing well in their works are having to give answers all around and those who are not performing well are becoming popular, Minister Pun said a tendency is institutionalized in the society to look at the politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen from the negative perspective.

"The country's development cannot pick up speed unless someone is courageous enough to take the risk to break this mentality in society and to remove such situation," he said and called on the political and bureaucratic leadership to muster courage for the same and on the rest of the society should support them.

On a different note, the Finance Minister stressed on the need of taking into consideration the economy, agriculture and the market while building infrastructure development projects. "We constructed the Mid-hills highway, but did not make the market and economic policy. We did not develop the production area. We have the East-West Postal Highway, but the population with highest poverty resides in its periphery. Such is our situation. This situation has come because the development infrastructures were not backed by the economic programmes," he explained.

Stating that the report of the high-level tax reform recommendation committee is under study, Finance Minister Pun said the reform programmes would be brought through the budget and based on the commission's recommendations.

He expressed that the government has created an environment conducive for investment by amending the associated Acts through an Ordinance coinciding with the Third Investment Summit which concluded recently. He added that the government is making efforts to infuse confidence in the private sector which comprises 90 per cent of the nation's economy.

"It is the responsibility of the private sector to put in investment and create the employment opportunities. It is the government's job to facilitate in that, carry out policy reforms and to provide the appropriate platform," Finance Minister Pun observed.


Finance Minister Barshaman Pun Finance Minister's Secretariat National Planning Commission East-West Postal Highway
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