KATHMANDU, June 23: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that policies have been formed to encourage the farmers by removing the subsidy program from the budget of the Fiscal Year 2022/23.
In a meeting with a delegation including the World Bank's Managing Director Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister Sharma said that such a policy could be taken to encourage small farmers to increase production. “Even the meager loans taken by the poor farmers are not enough. There are also examples of small farmers taking loans and repaying them honestly, ”he said. “However, the subsidy did not reach the real farmers, which is why we have introduced a policy that will encourage them.”
Stating that the agriculture sector has been prioritized in the coming fiscal year, Sharma also stressed the importance of donor agencies. He said that an ‘agricultural ambulance’ has been started to facilitate the delivery of farmers' produced goods to the market. He also said that the trade deficit could not be reduced unless the import of more than Rs 350 billion worth of agricultural commodities is replaced by domestic goods.
"The aim is to increase the production of agricultural products for import substitution, increase the production of industrial goods, promote exports and even export of services," he said. It was also said that efforts have been made to focus on building the national capital by making maximum use of land, water, forest and overall natural resources. He shared that Nepal has come to cooperate with two IT related universities in Hyderabad, India due to the policy taken by the budget.
At the event, World Bank Managing Director Marie Elka Pangestu called for attention to food security. He said that it was appropriate to give priority to the agriculture sector for economic development.