‘Implementing the budget is challenging’

Published On: May 31, 2023 03:06 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU May 31: The Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), an umbrella organization of the private sector, has said that the implementation of the next fiscal year's budget prepared by the Ministry of Finance is going to be challenging. The Chamber said that it will be difficult to secure sources for the Rs 1.751 trillion budget the government has introduced for the fiscal year 2023/24. 

Looking at the present situation, the Chamber says collecting Rs 1.248 trillion in revenue in the next fiscal year is going to be challenging. In addition, the Chamber has asserted that achieving the goal of 6 percent economic growth is highly ambitious. A statement issued by the chamber says, “Given the context of achieving an overall economic growth rate of just 2.16 percent in the current fiscal year, the target of a 6 percent growth in the coming fiscal year is highly ambitious.” 

Saying that the budget of Rs 1.793 billion introduced for the current fiscal year could not be spent and had to be downsized to Rs 1.54 trillion, the NCC has maintained that the budget for the current fiscal year is not realistic. The NCC has said that achieving a six percent growth rate in the next fiscal year is going to be challenging because of the lack of structural reforms and sources for a large budget.

The Chamber has also said that the  budget has failed to address the issue of revitalizing the stagnant economy. "In the current situation, the target of raising a domestic debt of 240 billion rupees is likely to cause a liquidity crisis in the financial market."

The NCC has, however, said that the announcement of reduction in government expenditure and austerity measures is welcome. The chamber also believes that the system of sending the imported goods to the market only after mentioning the names of the distributor and importer on the packaging of such goods from July 1 will discourage illegal cross-border trade. 

Similarly, the Chamber has asserted that the provision of completing the entire process of environmental impact assessment within 30 days is welcome. Saying that the budget has been announced attaching high priority to the agriculture sector, the NCC has maintained that the possibility of approving cannabis cultivation for medicinal purposes is positive.

The NCC has also taken positively the government’s decision to allow land fragmentation which was prohibited for a long time, and the provision for carrying out real estate business through brokers approved by local authorities. The decision to allow online registration and cancellation of companies for a charge of only Rs 100 and the provision to charge no fees for capital expansion is positive, according to the Chamber’s statement. 


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