Election Won’t Hamper Development Works: DPM Paudel

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel has said that the elections neither hamper the execution of the budget nor kill the development spirit.
“Development projects won’t be affected by the election activities. The government is set to expedite the development work, both will move ahead together,” he said while speaking at an interaction on the challenges and the way out for the implementation of budget of the coming Fiscal Year 2021/22 organised virtually by Nepalese Association of Financial Journalists (NAFIJ) on Monday.
According to him, every effort would be made to maximise the implementation of budget with work beginning from the first day of the next fiscal.
“The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is forming a special mechanism for the same. All the development ministries are directed to create the work procedures for the programmes included in the budget before the end of the current fiscal year,” said DPM Paudel.
He maintained that no one is allowed to take even a single basket of pebbles and sand from the Chure region, however the issue was sensationalized by some interest groups. “Instead, the government has announced some long-term programmes for the protection of environment such as banning the polythene bags of less than 40 micron.
He said that the suggestion made by the former Finance Secretary Dr. Shanta Raj Subedi to bring three ordinances to support the development of large projects could help in expediting the execution of large and pride projects.
Presenting a paper in the programme, Dr. Subedi had suggested bringing ordinances to amend the Public Procurement Act, project implementation and land acquisition and compensation. He has recommended making the changes in consultation with the private sector.
He recommended the government to immediately ask the line ministries to create a action plan for the budget of the next fiscal and ask to conduct self-evaluation. “Inter-agency coordination should be intensified and the tender process should be completed before October, the festival season in the country,” he said.
According to Dr. Subedi, the MoF should also be rigid in terms of budget transfer and additional payments to the projects, and must ask the execution agencies to surrender the unspent budget after seven months of the fiscal.
He was particularly critical of the ministries not taking ownership of the programmes in their area in the budget. “Exporting construction materials is included in the budget at the proposal of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and Ministry of Forests and Environment has not fully owned the programme. Likewise, the issue of allowing private sector to import and distribute salt is not owned by the Commerce Ministry, and Prime Minister Employment Programme (PMEP) is largely understood as the project of Prime Minister’s Office,” he said.
Governor of the Nepal Rastra Bank, Maha Prasad Adhikari, said that the banks and financial institutions want to be sure about the recovery of the loan they mobilised so those who want loan against their certificates of graduation should present a plausible business plan.
He said that the central bank will address the demands of the private sector through the Monetary Policy of the next fiscal.
Finance Secretary Shishir Kumar Dhungana said that the preparation for budget implementation would be completed before two weeks of the new fiscal year. He also said that a new working procedure is being formulated to make the PMEP more effective.
President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Shekhar Golchha, said that the budget announced at the adverse time of pandemic had created hopes in the people. He demanded that universal vaccination of the workers and employees is a must for business operation.
President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Rajendra Malla, said that the one-door policy to the business must be immediately implemented. He suggested the MoF to bring the middlemen in the areas like agriculture and real estate under the tax net.
Likewise, Senior Vice President of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Bishnu Agrawal, pointed out to the need of special legal provision to implement public-private-partnership at the local level.