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Budget comes with high aspirations despite challenges: Former Finance Minister Paudel

B360 June 3, 2024, 2:05 pm
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KATHMANDU: Former Finance Minister and CPN (UML) Vice Chairperson, Bishnu Prasad Paudel, has suggested that the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25 would have been more appropriate, updated, and enhanced if it had been formulated in consultation with other ruling parties.

During a House of Representatives meeting on Sunday, he expressed his views on the government's income (revenue) and expenditure estimates for the forthcoming fiscal year, asserting that broader political discussions about the budget would enhance its significance.

"Despite the forthcoming decade being declared as the 'Decade for investment in agriculture', the budget allocation for the agricultural sector has been reduced," the Minister noted, calling for a comprehensive study into the decision to legalise cannabis farming and an evaluation of its advantages and disadvantages.

Minister Paudel suggested that it would have been beneficial if the budget had avoided referencing the 'one local level, one downtown, and one ward-park' concept. He praised the commitment to issue land registration certificates to landless people and stated that the budget has the capacity to support the national aspirations for a 'Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali'. He also welcomed the announcement of the formation of a consumer court.

According to Paudel, the government has introduced a relatively concise and balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The task of identifying and managing resources was not simple. "This is not an ambitious budget, but rather a budget with high aspirations. The Finance Minister appears ready to face challenges by introducing such a budget. He seems committed to discovering opportunities amidst self-imposed challenges. The target of 6% economic growth rate will not be easily achievable when considering the current situation. However, this is not impossible. The budget requires effective implementation," he explained.

Former Minister Paudel stated that his party, CPN (UML), strongly supports the budget. He described the target of collecting revenue of Rs 1,260 billion as positive.

The government unveiled a budget of Rs 1,860.30 billion for the upcoming fiscal year on May 28.

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JUNE 2024

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