Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat today said that the government was going through hard times to manage resources for the budget for the next fiscal year, 2023/24. “It has been increasingly difficult to manage resources for multiyear and periodic projects of which implementation is mandatory,” he said during a pre-budget discussion at an event organised here today by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
At the same time, there are challenges in giving a space for new projects in the budget, according to him “Hundreds of projects have been contracted. But, there are difficulties to manage resources for them. Now, the biggest challenge is to manage resources. Government revenue collection is low. Collection of grants and loans has not reached the target. There is a pressure to provide project in many areas. But, we lack resources.”
The government had prioritised the increment of investments to widen the scope of economy, he said, adding that there was no alternative to ease investments. “The more investments increase the more revenue collection is. The government is committed in line with laws to create a climate for people to get entrepreneurship in as easy way.” The government had focused on increasing capital expenditures and cutting down on public expenditures, he said. Bank interest rates could be reduced through the review of the monetary policy, and there was a need for policy interventions in various sectors, he stressed.
FNCII President Chandra Prasad Dhakal insisted on structural reforms in economy, urging the government not to make a further delay to launch prorammes aiming to improve economy in partnership with the private sector. “The role of private sector in economic reform programmes has contributed to the reduction of poverty in India, China, Rwanda and Bangladesh.” The monetary policy and its review, government annual plans and policies and budget are the tools to intervene in economy for reforms, according to him who spoke the need of promoting domestic and foreign investment through the implementation of special programmes.
FNCCI Senior Vice President Anjan Shrestha requested the government to focus on production and employment creations while formulating the budget. In his view, promotion of domestic production and the achievement of self-sufficient economy will help the nation advance towards a sustainable economy.