KATHMANDU, March 30: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the budget for the coming Fiscal Year 2022/23 will be prepared in a way that everyone will feel a sense of ownership for the budget programs.
He said that the budget would be prepared by giving priority to the issues of increasing agricultural production, import substitution, job creation, proper management of labor skills, improvement in development expenditure, improved investment environment, private sector friendliness and other issues.
Speaking at an economic debate program jointly organized by the Nepal Economic Association, Confederation of Banks and Financial Institutions Nepal and the Ministry of Finance, he said that the government is currently focused on preparing the budget programs with this approach. “Farmers can feel that the programs have reached their fields and traders will find happiness by making their warehouses bright.”
Stating that there is a lot of concern about the current economy, he claimed that the budget will reshape the economy. "I want to go back to the barren fields of the farmers through the budget. I think imports cannot be replaced without increasing production," he said. “We should gradually increase the portion of exports as we have huge potential for increasing production and then increase exports.”
Mentioning that the share of exports in the total foreign trade has exceeded 10 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, he said that there is no alternative to increasing production in the coming days to further improve this figure. In the first eight months of the current fiscal year, exports set a new record of Rs 147.74 billion, which is 82.90 percent more than the previous year’s.
He also asked for suggestions on what could be done to reduce the growing trade deficit. "The import-oriented economy should be turned into a production-oriented one. We will have to build capital by making maximum use of our resources. But how? I need suggestions on this,” he said.
He claimed that the current year's economic growth rate has been targeted at 7 percent and if the situation is normal, the economic growth rate will be higher than the target.
“At present, the Ukraine-Russia war has affected Nepal's import-oriented economy as well as the world economy," he further added.