KATHMANDU, June 22: To achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), there will be an average investment requirement of Rs 2,024.8 billion per year until 2030, according to an estimate by the National Planning Commission (NPC).
In a report ‘Needs Assessment, Costing and Financing Strategy for Nepal’s Sustainable Development Goals’ released recently, the NPC has said that the country will have to spend a total of Rs 30,384 billion to attain the SDGs.
The SDGs, which encompass 17 goals with a total of 160 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues, were agreed by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 and came into force in January 2016 for the signatory nations. The SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Nepal is one of the 193 signatory nations of the SDGs.
Though the government has already started to incorporate SDGs in the planning and budgeting process, there was not any estimate on how much investment in the country would be required to achieve these goals. The NPC, the lead agency of the government for planning and implementation of the SDGs, has come up with the costing and financing strategy for achieving the Global Goals.
Out of the total average annual cost, 55 percent (Rs 1,11.3 billion) is estimated to come from the public sector while the rest of the investment is expected to be made from the private sector (Rs 731 billion), cooperatives and non-governmental sector (Rs 86.6 billion) and household sector (Rs 88 billion).
Puspa Raj Kandel, the vice chairperson of the NPC, said that the report is a concerted endeavor in assessing the intervention requirements for achieving the SDGs and its pertinent strategies.
According to the NPC report, the financing gap for SDGs in public and private sectors is estimated to be Rs 218 billion and Rs 367 billion, respectively, from a total of Rs 585 billion. Such shortfall of the financing was calculated on the basis of existing trends of resource mobilization and patterns of available resource allocation against investment requirement in major SDG areas.
The report also recommends the government to foster public and private collaboration to fill in the public finance gap for SDG financing. Additional efforts to mobilize revenue through a progressive taxation system; prioritization of expenditure and allocation of higher budgets for the SDGs; and setting prices and fees for public goods and services that directly help to achieve the SDGs should be the key elements of SDGs financing strategy in the public sector, according to the report.
Laxman Aryal, the NPC secretary, said that there was a need for adjustments on the macroeconomic policies to generate more financial resources to address the funding gap of the SDGs.
“The size of the informal economy is big. We will not be able to meet the financial gap if we do not bring informal activities into the formal process,” he said, adding that favorable investment policies should be created to boost private sector investment.