Infrastructure, federalism focus of budget, says Khatiwada
By Modnath Dhakal
Kathmandu, May 11: Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada on Friday said that the budget of the coming fiscal year 2019/20 would give higher importance to the infrastructure development, cooperation among the three-tier governments, private sector investment and good governance.
"Higher cooperation and collaboration will be forged among the three levels of government to achieve the goal of national development and prosperity. Resources will be distributed among the sub-national governments in a way so that it will support in equitable development," he said while presenting the principles and priorities of the Appropriation Bill 2019 at the Parliament.
He said that to make the project implementation and service to the public more effective, capacity development programmes would be organised at the federal, provincial and local levels.
Due to the poor capacity of the sub-national governments, they have failed in implementing medium size infrastructure projects, developing policies and budgets for their operation.
Similarly, an electronic system will be developed to maintain and update the accounts of government expenditure, revenue payment and other details.
Likewise, Dr. Khatiwada is set to give priority to the completion of multi-year infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, energy, irrigation, water supply and building construction.
Expressways and strategic roads connecting business centres and border points are in the high priority list of the budget while subways, railways, waterways, airports and urban infrastructure development will get additional attention.
"Programmes will be implemented to develop irrigation and river control and to expand inland waterways. Sports infrastructure required for the operation of national and international sport competitions will also be developed," he said.
The budget of the next fiscal will give priority to renewable energy, internal and cross-country electricity transmission lines. Construction and expansion of the cross-country transmission lines would be completed before the large hydroelectricity projects start electricity generation.
Similarly, the budget for next fiscal will give importance to the creation of legal and structural requirements needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the investment environment.
"Investment will be channelised in industrial infrastructure development. Similarly, investment will be attracted from private sector investment, public private partnership, public private and cooperative partnership and foreign investors," said the Finance Minister.
He also has plans to create more employment, motivate youth in self-employment, and increase the product and productivity of agriculture by adopting modern methods, mechanisation and specialisation.
Public Procurement Act will be amended to make the public construction work effective and of high quality. Dr. Khatiwada is also set to mobilise the international economic support to the national priority areas like productive sectors, large infrastructure development and social development.
He said that quality health service would be ensured through the development of health facilities and human resource, and the country would be announced literate within two years.
Likewise, settlements at risk of landslides and other natural hazards would be relocated to safer places, all citizens will be brought into the net of health insurance, tax administration would be reformed, and greater focus will be given to the empowerment of youth and women through entrepreneurship development.