Fiscal Year 2015/16

Revenue only the bright spot in govt's economic report card

Published On: July 20, 2016 12:40 AM NPT By: Rudra Pangeni  | @rudrapang

KATHMANDU, July 20: The government achieved its revenue collection targets in Fiscal Year 2015/16.  Apart from this, the government, however, has failed on all economic fronts.

It does not have much to report about in terms of job creation, improvement in services and infrastructure development that matters to taxpayers.

Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel on Tuesday proudly announced that achieving revenue collection target despite adverse economic situation and the Indian blockade was a major achievement. Speaking at the press meet on Tuesday, Paudel said that they worked hard to achieve the target of mobilizing Rs 475 billion in revenue“ "We have managed to surpass revenue targets by Rs 7 billio”," he added.

Officials had feared that the government would miss the revenue target because of the Indian blockade and the impact of the earthquake which had slowed down economic activities across the country.

Minister Paudel dodged question on other economic issues raised by media persons, asking them to focus on revenue only.

Economists say that the government does not have anything to talk about on other economic fronts“ "Our ministers have nothing to report about job creation, building infrastructure and expansion and adding new service deliveries that matters to the general public," economist Posh Raj Pandey said, adding that they only talk about revenue mobilization and foreign assistance commitments. 

Remittance has driven domestic demand which has increase our imports. Major chunk of government revenue comes from imports. “

"We would have a reason to cheer about if our revenue mobilization had increased by boost in economic activities across the count”y," added Pandey.
Responding to a query on poor public spending, Paudel said that the government would organize another press meet to discuss on the issue.
Spending on development activities is below 50 percent of the targeted Rs 208 billion - the lowest in the past fiscal years.

Critics allege that the government has manipulated revenue figures. Revenue size increased in 2015/16 due to transfer of Rs 10 billion from Rural Telecommunication Development Fund, which is managed by Nepal Telecommunication Authority, into the government's revenue account.

Ministry of Finance has also showed Rs 12 billion, repaid by NOC, in revenue heading.

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