Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada has clarified that the budget and programme related to the United States-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact would come into implementation only after the parliamentary endorsement. The Finance Minister said this while responding to the queries put forth by the parliamentarians on the budget for the fiscal 2020/21 in today’s meeting of the House of Representatives. He also reminded that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had already clarified the contentious issue on 19 May so it would be sorted out accordingly.
It was agreed that the Finance Minister would make clarifications on the MCC stuffs in the parliament after questions raised in the 29 May secretariat meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party on inserting budget and programmes under the compact. It was informed that the NCP secretariat would comprehensively discuss on the issue and take the decision to that end. Minister Dr Khatiwada also clarified the foreign aid would be received and mobilized as per the development cooperation policy keeping the country need, national priorities and interests into consideration. He further said the life would be gradually revitalized by resuming the economic activities and the appropriated budget if remains inadequate to respond to COVID-19 pandemic could be managed through transfers.
The budget was balanced geographically and the budget for state and local levels was appropriated as per the recommendations of Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission. He also clarified that the budget has spelt out the programmes to create new opportunities through transfer of skill and labour. The austerity plan has been adopted considering the crisis resulting from COVID-19, he said, informing the parliament that 28 percent has been cut down in administrative and office expenses. The minister stressed the need of cooperation from all sides for the implementation of the budget. On a policy regarding private school cooperation to public school for quality improvement, he clarified that one percent educations service tax levied to private schools would be expended to the infrastructure development of public school. ‘This provision was enshrined in the budget to enable environment of social responsibility and collaboration’, he emphasized.