Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has said the government now focuses its attention on implementation of the budget. “Although the capital budget has somewhat decreased, there is always a problem in its implementation and I have given high priority to resolving this,” he said this in a post-budget discussion programme organized by the Society of Economic Journalists – Nepal (SEJON) here today.
Stating that he has declared in point-form for making the capital expenditure more effective, Finance Minister Mahat expressed the confidence that it would be implemented. In his view, an effective implementation of the capital expenditure will lead to an increased foreign assistance which will, in turn, somewhat ease the sources. Regarding tax determination, he said, it has been done keeping the economy and the private sector at the centre, making it clear that the changes in any of the revenue rate were not done with any vested interest.
Finance Minister opined that the consumers would not be discouraged by the changes made in the tax on electric vehicles. Chief of Tribhuvan University, Central Department of Economics, Prof (Dr) Shivaraj Adhikari said the Nepalese economy is in a ‘policy trap’. According to him, the internal debt is increasing due to the budget deficit and this again impacted the monetary market. Stating that the budget deficit has reached 271 billion at present, he said its impact is seen on the internal loans and the more the deficit the more is the debt expansion.
Former Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said the economy is in a ‘policy trap’ due to the governance practices after 2007 and its effects were increasing more these days. As he said, this situation has arisen due to the competition in distributive programmes than in production promoting programmes. Dr Khatiwada said the present situation was characterized by ‘taking loans to acquire loans’, reducing budget for the development and construction sector and the increasing obligation of general expenditure. “The budget for the upcoming fiscal year has come in accordance with this very mindset no matter the frequent harping on reforms,” he commented on the government’s budget for the fiscal year 2023-24.