Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Salient Features of Fiscal Budget 2008-2009

The First budget of the Republic Nepal is Passed by the Parliament. Here I am trying to present a brief information about the important features of the budget presented by Finance Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.

The Jawaharlal University, New Delhi Graduate Nepal’s first Maoist Finance Minister Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai had read out a more than two hours lengthy “3.5-billion-dollar Fiscal Budget-2008-09”, at the Constituent Assembly-that has been limited so far to act as a legislative body let alone drafting the all important Constitution in a mere one and half years period remaining.

Nevertheless, the Maoists’ highly ambitious budget which has been increased by 39.7 % than the previous year promises to cancel debts of the poor and provide allowances to the so far neglected group and regions in the country and allocates big chunk of budget in Education.

Total Budget: 236 Billion

Regular Expenditure: 128 Billion

Capital Expenditure: 98 billion 310 million

Projected Revenue Sources:

Current Source: 129 Billion

Foreign Assistance: 65 billion

Foreign Loans: 18.07 Billion

Revenue Deficit: 41.11

Budget Allocation (Sector wise)

Education: 38 Billion 980 million (Rupees)

Health: 15 billion 580 million

Women: 32 billion 910 million

Electricity: 12 billion 690 million

Road Infrastructure: 12 billion 910 million

Irrigation: 5 billion 800 million

Agriculture: 5 billion 910 million

Tourism: 97.8 million

Populist Slogans

“Make our Village Better and Beautiful”

“In clean water lies Nepal's power”

"New Nepal, Learned Nepal"

"Cooperatives in every village, food storage in every house"

''Know Letters, Be Civilized"

"Slogan of Drinking water: Taps in the Villages".

"New Nepal, Secured Nepal and New Nepal, Healthy Nepal"

Price goes up in:

Custom duty and excise duty on alcohol, cigarette, and tobacco have been increased.

Vehicle Import tax has been increased

House/Land registration fee in Kathmandu has been increased to support the “Clean Bagmati Campaign”

Price goes down in:

Import of Vehicle for Disabled people

Women Salary Tax

Import of CFL lamp

Vat in Hydro Electricity

Industrial tax for Industries employing five hundred Nepali workers

Some Salient Features of the Budget

  • Monthly Allowance of 500 rupees to people above 60 years belonging to the group of endangered ethnicities, dalits, Single Women and Karnali Zone and others who are above the age of 70
  • Monthly Allowance of 1000 rupees for fully handicapped and disabled and 300 rupees for partially handicapped
  • Debt waiver up to the principal amount of Rs. 30 thousands, and full interest due and all kinds of penalties on the loan amount of above Rs. 30 thousands up to Rs. 100 thousands.
  • Salary Increase of all classes of the government employees by Rs. 2 thousand per month effective from 17 September, 2008
  • Movement against corruption control
  • Various programs will be carried out to utilize the property of former kings and royal families for the benefit of general public
  • The village development grant will be increased ensuring a minimum of Rs. 1.5 million and a maximum of Rs. 3.0 million
  • Compensation will be provided to the physically deformed people, and the martyrs of the people's war, people's movement and Madhesh movement
  • Production of 10,000 MW hydro powers in the next 10 years
  • Tourism Revolution within few years
  • Special emphasis will be placed to extend north-south road and railways to accrue due benefit from the rapid economic development of the two big neighbors: India, and China.
  • Ease the supply of petroleum products, the monopoly of Nepal Oil Corporation will be ended momentarily and a Regulatory Agency will be set up
  • Provide immediate relief to the affected people from food crisis and to help farmers to increase food production, Rs. 1 billion 225 million has been earmarked
  • A High Level Scientific Land Reform Commission will be formed for the abolition of feudal land ownership and production relations
  • The load shedding in the industrial corridor will not be ended. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, initiative will be taken to establish a thermal plant on public-private partnership near dry ports in Biratnagar and Birgunj
  • Foreign investment will be encouraged for the exploration of minerals where feasibility studies have been already completed. Multinational companies will be invited for the exploration and extraction as well as production of petroleum products.
  • The legal provision of not requiring licenses for the production up to 1 MW hydro power projects will be extended up to 3 MW.
  • The construction of Upper Tamakoshi- 456 MW, Upper Trishuli A-60 MW, Rahughat– 30 MW and Naumure 245 MW, totaling 791 MW, will be started this year. Likewise, necessary works will be initiated to start the construction of Upper Trishuli 3 B - 40 MW, Tamor-Mewa - 110 MW, Upper Seti - 127 MW, Dudhkoshi - 300 MW, Tamakoshi 2 and 3 - 500 MW, West Seti - 750 MW, totaling 1827 MW from both the government and private sectors
  • A free of cost operation service will be provided through Martyr Gangalal Heart Center to prevent heart disease of the children below the age of 15, of the senior citizens above the age of 75, and of all endangered ethnic citizens. Likewise, a free of cost service for the dialysis of kidney will be provided through National Kidney Center to the endangered ethnic citizens, and to the senior citizens above 75 years of age
  • More than 91 percent people shall have access to primary education in the current Fiscal Year
  • Constructing new airports of international and regional level and developing an intensive triangular tourism infrastructure between Kathmandu, Pokhara and Lumbini thereby causing a tourism revolution in the next couple of years
  • The construction of Kathmandu-Terai Fast Track Road under BOOT will be initiated with high priority from this fiscal year

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