Inclusive Growth In Focus
Following the endorsement of Policy and Programmes in the House of Representatives, the government is gearing up for the new fiscal budget. The Policy and Programmes offers direction and vision of the government tasked with bringing about sweeping socio-economic transformations. With the solid popular mandate, the communist government under premier KP Sharma Oli is striving to fulfil the citizens’ ever-increasing aspirations for prosperous, happy, decent and dignified life. In its first budget unveiled last year, the government was focused on strengthening national coffers. This was visibly a pragmatic decision to hold the purse strings and funnel funds to the areas where they are badly needed. The government faced a barrage of criticisms for not meeting some of its popular election promises such as increasing the allowance for senior citizens. Being aware of the people’s sentiments and concerns, the government is preparing the outlay giving priority to the wealth creation and rational public expenses. In principal, social justice and security forms the lynchpin of the government’s policies guided by the constitutional spirit and roadmap. The national charter envisions building a socialist-oriented economy that counterpoises the crass capitalism and freewheeling market. Highlighting the principles and priority of the budget for the fiscal year 2019/20 in the parliament the other day, Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada said that it would attach greater importance to the economic growth and social justice. He noted that the Appropriation Bill 2019 had laid emphasis on infrastructure development, good governance, fiscal discipline, cooperation among the three-tier governments, employment generation, hydropower development, promotion of foreign direct investment as well as private sector investment.
According to the news report published in this daily, other priorities include mobilising international economic support, enhancing health services, making the entire nation literate within two years, relocating the people hit by the natural disasters to safer sites and bringing all citizens to health insurance. An electronic system will be developed to maintain and update the accounts of government expenditure, revenue payment and other details while according stress on 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 other priorities. The budget will give importance to the creation of legal and structural requirements needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the investment environment. Cooperation and collaboration among the three levels of government will be forged to achieve the goal of national development and prosperity. It is imperative that the central government should allocate resources realistically to enhance equitable development. This is because a lot is needed to do away with the structural inequality and injustice that held back development pace for decades, breeding poverty and disparity. The focus should be on improving the capacity of three-tier government to spend budget, implement projects and deliver goods and services to the people. The sub-national government have fallen short of ability to enforce the medium size projects and policies. This simply shows that accumulation of political rights hardly equips the State and local governments to prove their mettle and excel in their performance to the satisfaction of their electorates. Managerial skills, economic integrity and ability to forge consensus among the major stakeholders is a must to expedite development works.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha is the secretariat member and spokesperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party. Although he had staked his claim to the post of...