Monday, May 13, 2013

Budget to focus on productive sectors

The budget for the next fiscal year 2013-14 will focus on productive sectors like energy, agriculture, road and irrigation.
"Unlike earlier years, the budget will not be distributive and focus less," said finance minister Shankar Koirala, here today.
Suggesting the Finance Ministry and National Planning Commission (NPC) officials, Koirala asked them to concentrate on energy, agriculture, road and irrigation. "The budget should also give priority to good governance and financial discipline," he said, adding that the financial statement of the government will neither be revolutionary — like earlier years — nor hopeless, it will take a middle path for the development.
"The government is planning to sign performance agreement with the project chiefs of the priority projects to make them more responsible and accountable for the better output," the minister added.
There is also a need for a separate mechanism to stop corruption in the budget for the local bodies, Koirala said.
Despite enough resource allocation for the local bodies in recent years, the budget has been misused in the name of all-party mechanism.
The budget must focus on better resource mobilisation, said senior economic advisor to the Finance Ministry Dr Chiranjivi Nepal, on the occasion.
"This is the right time to make sure of public resource utilisation," he added.
The budget must encourage in reducing rising financial crimes, Nepal suggested, asking the officials to channel budget to the productive sectors.  "There is no alternative to more investment in agriculture to bridge the ballooning trade deficit."
However, National Planning Commission (NPC) secretary Yubraj Bhusal and chief of Budget Department under Finance Ministry Lokdarshan Regmi said that the current budgetary system could not bring any changes.
Likewise, the experts, on the occasion, showed serious concern on output less investment in public enterprises and security.
The government's investment on public entities has been unproductive and they have become liability.
Earlier, the planning commission had given a ceiling of Rs 510 billion for the budget of the fiscal year 2013-14.

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