KATHMANDU, September 12: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has reiterated his claim that the country will meet the revised target of economic growth of seven percent in the current fiscal year.
Amid criticism that the government through the revised budget has set an ambitious target, completely ignoring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Sharma has defended the government’s plan. The substitution bill has raised the growth rate from 6.5 percent that had been maintained in the ordinance budget announced by the KP Oli-led government.
Last year too, the government had set a target of achieving 7 per cent economic growth rate while launching the budget for the fiscal year 2020/21. It had later reduced that figure and estimated it to be 4.01 per cent in view of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the government still fell short in meeting the revised projected target too.
Without introducing concrete programs to support the COVID-battered economy, Minister Sharma has made this tall claim. “We have sought to increase the economic activities from both the public and private sectors with reduction in infection rate of the pandemic,” said Sharma, speaking at a press meet organized by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on Sunday.
Sharma said the government will be expanding tax bases while facilitating the businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic. Promotion of raw material-based production businesses, improvement in payment system, check on cases of under-invoicing and transparency in customs procedures, among others, are the programs forwarded by the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government to achieve the ambitious growth target.
According to economists, most of these measures will hardly aid in boosting the economic growth of a country.