Nepal Today

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

EC HELP TO FIGHT DISASTERS Kathmandu, 10 April: The European Commission on Tuesday gave aEuro 3.28 million (approximately Rs 360 million) assistance for disaster preparedness and mitigation programme. The grant came from a Commission fund for disaster preparedness action plan (DIPECHO) for South Asia. The projects aim to reduce the vulnerability of populations living in areas most affected by natural disasters. The projects will be implemented by four partners in Nepal, and will be covering 13 districts in four development regions, including municipalities in the Kathmandu, the mission added. Nnnn THREE WOMEN HELD WITH 10 KG HEMP Kathmandu, 10 April Police arrested three women with 10 kilos of marijuana at the border transit point at Jamunaha here on Tuesday evening, RSS reports from Nepalgunj... Police said the women were arrested as they were trying to smuggle out the marijuana conceled in the clothes they were wearing. Those arrested are Bimala Ghartimagar, Devi Maya Shahi and Sita Punmagar of Kakri-9, Rolpa district. On interrogation by police, they said they were trafficking the banned substance on behalf of a drug cartel for money. They have been taken to the District Police Office for necessary action. Meanwhile, police seized 6,700 chicks smuggled into the district from India and destroyed them. CPN MAOIST LEADER THREATENS WAR Kathmandu, 10 April: CPN-Maoist Secretary Netra Bikram Chand warned that his party would retaliate if the much awaited elections to the Constituent Assembly are held sans high level political consensus, Jagadish Bhattarai writes in The Himalayan Times from Palpa. He said that his party is ready to take any kind of steps if the government tried to hold elections without consensus. Inaugurating the first conference of the Federation of Revolutionary Journalists Magarat State, CPN-Maoist leader said that if the government tried to hold election in the present condition then it will invite clashes and bloodshed in the country. On the occasion, Chand said that the incumbent government was formed against the constitution, peace, 12 point pact and against the consent of the political parties adding that it is their prime duty to make all their efforts unsuccessful. Chand further made it clear that the country would not get political stability and move ahead sans high level political consensus centering on the political and societal issues. If the Khil-Raj Regmi government engineered by the major four political parties’ sticks to the government then it would take the country towards conflict and war, he said. Nnnn DETAILS OF OVERNIGHT BUDGET Kathmandu, 10 April: ss Finance Minister Shankar Koirala today announced the full budget of Rs 404.82 billion, after eight months of the fiscal year in an event that happened for the first time in the country’s six decades of budgetary history. The budget has earmarked Rs 279.1 billion as recurrent expenditure and Rs 66.13 billion as capital expenditure, apart from Rs 59.67 billion for financial management, Kuvera Chalise writes in The Himalayan Times.. It has planned to mobilise Rs 289.6 billion revenue, Rs 4.39 billion from reimbursement of principal and Rs 46.98 billion from foreign grant as resources for the expenditure. The Rs 63.83 billion deficit will be met from Rs 25.83 billion foreign loan and Rs 38 billion internal borrowing. The budget that seems to focus on election, commercialisation of agriculture to bridge import-export gap, promote transport, infrastructure development and private sector investment has but failed to create aggregate demand and supply. “The adjusted full budget — with earlier two internal public expenditure arrangements — is a business-as-usual,” said senior economist Bishwhambher Pyakuryal. “The finance minister should have brought some policy to boost capital expenditure,” he said, adding that incentives for ministries that boost quality capital expenditure and disincentives for the non-performers would have boosted the capital expenditure by creating employment. The government has been able to spend only Rs 13.42 billion capital expenditure in eight months of the current fiscal year. The Central Bureau of Statistics has attributed the low economic growth for the current fiscal year also to low public spendings. Likewise, the budget should have linked growth and employment in addition to linking purchasing power and inflation, which are two key bottlenecks of our economy, Pyakuryal added. The budget has, however, accepted supply-side constraints coupled with low agriculture production for pushing inflation to double digit. “Instead of government’s target of containing inflation at 7.5 per cent, it has looked up to 10.1 per cent in the seventh month of the current fiscal year,” finance minister added. The budget has earmarked Rs 14 billion to carry out polls — Rs 6 billion for election and Rs 8 billion for election security — which is expected to add inflationary pressure. However, the government’s promise to boost public spending and commitment of liberal market economy has encouraged the private sector. “The government has promised to create investment-friendly environment,” said Suraj Vaidya, President, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. “The government’s policy to encourage private sector as an engine of growth, if implemented, would propel economic growth and create employment in the country,” he said, welcoming the government’s full budget that private sector has been seeking since the beginning of the fiscal year. “But the government has less time to implement the budget,” he said. The attitude of government seems private sector friendly, according to Confederation of Nepalese Industries President Narendra Basnyat. “If the government can boost the capital expenditure and keep its private sector-friendly attitude, there is a ray of hope,” he said, adding that the capital expenditure has to be increased to move the economy ahead. The budget has announced public private partnership model for infrastructure development for tourism and energy generation, apart from creating export-friendly policy to bridge widening trade deficit. nnnn


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