Nepal Today

Monday, April 1, 2013

GOVT. OFFICE TARGETED IN DHANUSHA BOMBING Kathmandu, 1 April: A bomb went off in front of the store of the District Development Committee in Dhanusha district Monday. There were no human casualties. Investigations have bee launched to find out persons and institutions behind the bombing. nnnn. FULL BUDGET FOR REMAINING THREE MONTHS OF FISCAL YEAR SAYS MINISTER KOIRALA Kathmandu, 1 April: The government will soon unveil a full budget for this fiscal year, the finance minister has said, The Kathmandu Post reports . The government is currently preparing two budget s simultaneously — one for the current fiscal year and the other for the next, Finance Minister Shankar Koirala said at an interaction organised by the Society of Economic Journalists of Nepal (SEJON) here on Sunday. No matter what name it is given, either brief or supplementary, a full budget is necessary for this fiscal year to allocate resources for elections, mega and priority projects, current and compulsory expenditure, and international membership charges, the minister said. “The upcoming budget , however, will have no new programmes,” he said. The Finance Ministry has long been demanding a full budget as the current budget ary provision will be insufficient to meet its ever-increasing liabilities for both recurrent and capital expenditure. According to the ministry, there has been an additional demand for more than Rs 50 billion from different ministries and it faces a deficit of more than Rs 6 billion to pay salary to the government staff, including police, Armed Police Force, Nepal Army and teachers. Failing to introduce a full budget , the then Baburam Bhattarai-led government had brought a budget worth Rs 351 billion under a budget ary arrangement that the government can spend resources equal to those spent in the last fiscal year. The size of the budget last fiscal year was Rs 386 billion. That’s why the Finance Ministry had been lobbying for a full budget as a budget worth less than last fiscal year’s budget would not be sufficient to meet its increased liabilities. The ministry is currently collecting the actual status of expenditure of ministries and government agencies in order to ascertain their actual demand. The ministry will also prepare a red book which contains details of projects and allocated budget for each of them. In the absence of a full budget , the Finance Ministry this year allocated budget in bulk to ministries, authorising them to allocate funds under each heading. Minister Koirala said the upcoming budget will have a real positive impact on the country’s economy, not a populist one with political agenda. The National Planning Commission (NPC) has fixed the ceiling for the budget of next fiscal year at Rs 506 billion. The commission has also fixed the budget ceiling for ministries and government agencies, based on which they have to prepare their programmes. Koirala, who also looks after industry and Commerce ministries, said the government will run the economy based on free-market model. “There has already been consensus among major political forces about adopting liberal economic model, which is key to growth,” he said. Amid private sector’s concerns about increased role of the cooperatives, the minister said the private sector should not worry about cooperatives. “Given cooperatives accumulating 15 percent of the deposits in banks and financial institutions, they cannot be simply ignored,” said Koirala. The government has categorised cooperatives as one of three pillars of economy. As a commerce minister, Koirala said he would make every effort to ensure smooth supply of basic commodities. He said he would soon begin reforms in the Nepal Oil Corporation, and hold talks with petroleum traders who have been refuting the government’s decision to allow the private sector to participate in petroleum refinery and distribution. According to the minister, the government’s main focus is on controlling the ballooning trade deficit and on investing in the productive sector with competitive advantage. “We have never been able to shift to productive economy from import-oriented one,” he said. “The government will now focus on shifting to productive economy.” Nnnn PMO OFFICE BLOCKS FOTEIGN AID TO GENDAR-BASED VIOLENCE UNIT Kathmandu, 1 April The Prime Minister’s Office has officially decided to discontinue foreign aid for its Gender Based Violence (GBV) unit from Sunday in line with the government’s position that no foreign direct aid would be accepted for the office, Anil Giri writes in The Kathmandu Post.. The decision has been notified to the donor community. The GBV project was funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development and executed by the Asia Foundation. The PMO had announced last December that it would not accept any aid or project funded by the donor community. Officials said the idea is to give a message that Nepal can fund at least the PMO and the President’s Office on its own. “The government itself will fund the Unit from now on,” PMO Secretary Rajuman Singh Malla told the Post. The unit was set up in 2010 to look into the cases of gender-based violence. As cases of gender-based violence have been taking a toll particularly on women for some time, there were calls from several quarters that a dedicated project is necessary inside the PMO to monitor the situation and to provide regular inputs to government agencies. The unit has prepared a five-year work plan. Under the policy is to wind up all foreign assistance projects, the next target is the Governance Reform and Administrative Restructuring, whose point person at the PMO is Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota. nnnn


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home