Nepal Today

Friday, March 8, 2013

MORE JOBS NEEDED SAYS WORLD BANK Kathmandu, 8 March: Growing unemployment problem was not only giving a headache to countries like Nepal, but was equally nagging developed countries of the world, a World Bank report stated, RSS reports.. The World Development Report titled ´Job´ released by the World Bank´s Nepal Country Office here today emphasizes on the need of creating more job opportunities globally. It states that six billion jobs should be created in the coming 15 years. Addressing the report-releasing programme, Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal, expressed the belief that the political transition in Nepal would end soon leading to more job opportunities and increased economic activities. Stressing the need of prioritizing entrepreneurship development, vocational education and women´s empowerment, she appreciated the diligence and the commitment to work among the Nepali women and pointed out the need of utilizing these traits to increasing productivity and growth. Former finance minister Madhukar Shumsher Rana said that the women were having to shoulder double burden of work at home and work in the field and that their source of income had shrunk for lack of commercialization of agriculture. He suggested that poverty could be lessened to a certain extent in the rural areas through the maximum utilization of the forest products. The report´s author, Jesko Hentchel, highlighting the main points of the document, said that the agriculture sector was the means for economic prosperity of Nepal and also the sector for creating adequate job opportunities. Hentchel, an economist, suggested the government and the sides concerned to pay attention to this fact. Another economist, Arpita Nepal, pointed out to the lack of business environment in the country due to the slackness in the rule of law, the loss of job opportunities due to the shrinking of business and industries and the declining investor´s confidence for lack of investment and industry-friendly Labour Act. CEO of Nepal Banking Training Academy, Sanjeev Subba, warned that the country itself could be bereft of youths in future if job opportunities were not generated for them within the country. As per the report, globally 1.6 billion people work on salary or wage basis while 1.5 billion people are engaged in agriculture and self-employment. The report also states that 21 million people are working as forced labourers while 620.1 million people are illiterate and do not work. Likewise, the report states that 90 million people have gone abroad in search of work while 115 million children are working under hazardous conditions. Nnnn BUDGET FOR 2013/14 RS.506B. Kathmandu, 8 March:- The National Planning Commission (NPC) has set the ceiling for the next fiscal year’s budget at Rs 506 billion, and also fixed the upper limits for each ministry. The NPC has informed all the ministries about the maximum amount of their budget allocations, and asked them to prepare their programmes accordingly, The Kathmandu Post reports.. The government’s spending limit has been curtailed during this fiscal year due to the absence of a full budget. It can spend only Rs 351 billion, which is equivalent to last year’s expenditure, although the NPC had set the ceiling at Rs 429 billion. “The budget size has been fixed considering the resources at our disposal,” said NPC joint secretary Pushpa Lal Shakya. “However, the figure may change as we are not the final authority to decide the size of the budget.” Government expenditure usually crosses the limit set in the financial plan as pet projects of the ruling parties are also included in the development programmes. As is customary, the Ministry of Education will get the highest share of the budget of Rs 76 billion, followed by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development with Rs 46 billion. The third highest ceiling of Rs 34 billion has been fixed for the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Science and Technology and Environment has been given the highest raise of 69 percent followed by the Ministry of Agriculture with 41 percent. The Science Ministry’s upper limit has been fixed at Rs 7 billion. “As environment has been lumped with science this year, the ministry’s ceiling shot up accordingly,” said Shakya. The budget ceiling for the Ministry of Agriculture Development has been fixed at Rs 20 billion. The Ministry of Law and Justice got Rs 125.4 million, the lowest. Similarly, the NPC has fixed the targets for resource mobilization for the proposed expenditures. According to Shakya, revenue collection has been targeted to grow by 19.5 percent to Rs 345 billion. Another major source of funding is foreign aid, which is targeted to reach Rs 116 billion. The shortfall will be met by raising internal loans. Shakya said that discussions on the budget for the next fiscal are expected to begin in the second week of April after the ministries present their programmes as per the ceilings fixed for them. nnnn


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