Nepal budget allocates spending for 19th November poll
Nepal’s Minister of Finance, Shankar Koirala, presented the 2013/2014 budget on Sunday. The budget allocated Rs. 16 billion (£108 million; $164 million) for the 19th November Constituent Assembly elections and allows for spending on hydroelectricity and other power projects as the top priority.
Nepal News covered the budget speech as follows:
“Govt presents budget worth Rs 517.24 billion
Finance Minister Shankar Koirala on Sunday evening presented the budget of Fiscal Year 2070/71 worth Rs 517.24 billion with an emphasis on the upcoming Constituent Assembly polls.
In the budget, FM Koirala said the government’s top priority is to hold the November 19 Constituent Assembly elections, as Rs 16 billion was allocated for the event.
The budget has set aside Rs 353.42 billion (68.33 percent) as the current expenses, Rs 85.1 billion (16.45 percent) as the capital expenses and Rs 78.72 billion (15.22 percent) for the financial management.
The budget’s total general expenses account for 53.3 percent (Rs 275.66 billion), while its development expenses stand for 46.7 percent (Rs 241.58 billion).
The budget has increased government employees’ salary by 18 percent. This increment will imply for civil servants, army, police and teachers.
With the new scale to be effective from Shrawan 1, 2070, a peon will have a monthly basic salary scale of Rs 12,800 while it will be Rs 40,695 for the chief secretary. In addition, they will be entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000.
Government employees’ offspring or spouse will have discounts in public hospitals, if they have to stay there for over three days.
The budget has set a revenue collection target of Rs 354.5 billion, while it targets 5.5 percent economic growth limiting inflation to 8 percent.
Hydroelectricity and energy are the key priority areas of the government along physical infrastructure development.
The budget has prioritized developing three international airports in Lumbini, Pokhara and Nijgadh.
The other major programs of the budget includes: Rs 510 million for expanding Kalanki-Koteshwor ring road to 8-lane, Rs 1 billion for literary program, Rs 610 million for providing life skill training to 31,000 youths and free medical treatment of heart patients who are below 15 years or above 75 years.
Some other programs of the budget are: target of building 400 more suspension bridges, Rs 210 million for developing sports infrastructure and developing online form filling system for the machine readable passport.
The budget says the office of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority will be established in all parts of the country, while Nepalis returning from abroad do not have to pay customs duty on TV, which width is 30 inches or below.
The budget presentation ceremony was held at Dr Harka Gurung Hall of the National Planning Commission inside Singh Durbar.
Chairman of Interim Election Council Khil Raj Regmi was also present in the program along with his ministers. The budget speech lasted for more than two hours.”