Thursday, June 28, 2012

Consensus key to budget: NC chief Koirala

The government cannot even bring the 'special budget' without political consensus, forget about the full-fledged one," according to Nepali Congress president Shushil Koirala said.
"The political consensus will help bring the special budget for the regular expenses," he said, adding that Nepali Congress (NC) understands that the country should not be victimised for the 'ego' of political parties but there is no option to the political consensus before bringing the budget.
After the discussion with the private sector today at his residence, Koirala said that the NC has already started consultation with the political parties to find a common ground. "The private sector should also help convince 'other political parties' to forge consensus," he told the entrepreneurs.
"The government led by UCPN-Maoist is planning to bring full-fledged budget ignoring the two largest political parties NC and CPN-UML," Koirala said, adding that it is unacceptable.
The team of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) led by president Suraj Vaidya told Koirala that the political consensus is a must but the country should not be victimised due to the political tug-of-war. "Let the politics take its course, we do not interfere in it but the economic agenda should also be addressed," he said, requesting the NC chief to forge political consensus soon.
The private sector is ready to help political parties forge consensus that could pave the way to full-fledged budget, he said. "We have even prepared and shared the common minimum economic agenda — that will help the political parties come to a meeting point on economic issues — with political parties."
However, the lingering uncertainty has been hitting the economy hard and the country is suffering, said Vaidya, who led the entrepreneurs’ team that included former FNCCI president Chandi Raj Dhakal, incumbent vice-presidents Pashupati Muraraka and Bhaskarraj Raj Karnikar, chairman of IME Group Chandra Dhakal, hotelier B K Shrestha, and entrepreneur Diwakar Golchha.
At a time, when there is only two weeks for the budget, the private sector has been actively involved in consultation with the political parties and urging them to forge consensus to bring the full-fledged budget. The government must bring the budget — either special or full-fledged — before the fiscal year ends on July 15 through ordinance as there is no parliament.
Similarly, the FNCCI team — in the meeting with the caretaker prime minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai today morning at his official residence — also shared the common minimum economic agenda and asked him to agree on it.
The government should agree on FNCCI-prescribed common minimum economic agenda to let the country move forward, Vaidya suggested the premier.
"The government should end the current political impasse and create investment-friendly environment," he said, adding that the political uncertainty has hit the economy. "Without economic growth and stability, the political stability is not possible," he added.
The government needs to create a separate mechanism that could look after economic agendas despite the change in guard of governments," Dr Bhattarai said, consoling the entrepreneurs that the budget will come on time.


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