Sun, July 14, 2024

Lawmakers debate on varied aspects of budget

B360 June 5, 2024, 9:02 am
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KATHMANDU: Members of Parliament from both the ruling and opposition parties have been discussing various aspects of the annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25 in a meeting of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Federal Parliament.

Rajendra Prasad Pandey, lawmaker from the CPN (Unified Socialist), highlighted contradictions in the tax system announced in the forthcoming budget. He criticised the budget for failing to address tax evasion and for not fostering an environment where taxpayers would willingly pay their taxes. 

"The budget has been criticised for imposing taxes without justified principles. It is said that taxes have been levied on sectors that are not profitable. The Finance Minister should respond to these allegations," he stated.

Pandey also expressed disappointment that the budget failed to outline a plan for the entrepreneurial development of youths returning from foreign employment.

"The Agriculture decade has been declared without any supportive programmes. There are no initiatives for utilising uncultivated land," he pointed out.

Swornim Wagle, lawmaker from the Rastriya Swatantra Party, participating in the discussions, stated that the budget for the next fiscal year heralds a new phase of economic reforms. He argued that the budget is balanced and has set a clear objective for economic transformation. Wagle expressed his belief that economic prosperity can be achieved through job creation, growth in production, and the export of information technology services.

He noted that the budget provides a clear framework for the development of the energy and agriculture sectors, and said the Gandaki Economic Triangle, connecting Bhartpur, Pokhara, and Butwal, will aid in achieving economic growth.

Lawmaker Ram Kumar Rai expressed his opinion that the budget for the next fiscal year will instil confidence in the Nepali people. He expressed optimism that the five priorities of the budget will address the existing challenges in the economy. However, he also noted that implementing the budget could be challenging. 

Rajendra Lingden, lawmaker and President of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP), described the budget for the next fiscal year as 'traditional', which he believes cannot address the current economic challenges. He also stated that the budget has failed to inspire hope among the people and has merely fulfilled tradition. "There is no situation to make a leap forward in the current state of the national economy. The budget has not been able to generate optimism," he said, adding that it will be difficult to achieve the goal of economic transformation with a budget based on 'estimation, grant, and loans'. 

He suggested that the programmes should have been presented differently, and noted a significant gap between the current and capital expenditures in the current fiscal year, with the budget making no efforts to reduce this gap.

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JUNE 2024

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