Meeting of Council of Ministers To Be Held This Morning, Govt To Announce Fiscal Budget Tomorrow

Sun, May 28, 2023 10:30 AM on Latest,

A meeting of the Council of Ministers is to be held today.

A cabinet meeting has been called at 11:00 am this morning at the Singhadurbar-based Office of the Prime Minisiter and the Council of Ministers.

The meeting has been called to discuss on the fiscal budget of 2080/81 which will be announced in the evening on Monday.

Meanwhile, a discussion will also be held on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's 'Prachanda' upcoming official visit to southern neighbor India in the cabinet metting.

Earlier, on Saturday the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Nepal had officially declared PM Dahal's official visit to India from May 31-June 03, by issuing respective press releases.

There is a constitutional provision for the government to announce the budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Jestha 15 each year.

Previously, President Ram Chandra Paudel has already announced the Programmes and Policies of the government in his address at the joint session of both the houses in the parliament on Jestha 05.

Highlights From President Paudel's Unveiling of Govt's Policies and Programmes for Upcoming FY 2080/81

Mixed Reactions on Government Policies and Programs 

As the tumultuous Nepali economy is reeling with hardships, the government is under immense pressure to devise a suitable budget to tacke the challenges at hand.

The government has already declared in its Programmes and Policies that indicates potential govt attempts in the budget to increase the scope of revenue collection, maintain frufality in govt spending and reviewing the existing tax legislations.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat in numerous public addresses as of late has said not to expect an extravagant budget in view of the ongoing economic recession. Minister Mahat will announce the budget on behalf of the ruling coalition government. 

The National Planning Commission has fixed the budget size at Rs 1.688 trillion, which is Rs 105.43 billion less than the budget announced the past fiscal yea.

According to the statistics made available by the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO), tax revenue of Rs. 6.84 Kharba and non-tax revenue of Rs. 71.61 Arba for the 10-months fiscal year-end (Shrawan-Baisakh) had been reported. Similarly, a total of Rs. 36.29 Arba in other receipts has been recorded. The record also showed that government was able to generate only Rs. 7.56 Kharba as total revenue from the targeted budget of Rs. 14.03 Kharba.

Govt Demonstrates Poor Capital Spending; Only One-third of Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Utilized for the 10-Months of FY 2079/80  

A series of agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and high-priority projects are expected to be penned between Nepal and India on PM Dahal's visit to India, which is also his first official visit since assuming office in December last year.

Similarly, discussions are expected to be held on myriad of issues including on matters relating to trade, commerce, water resources, transit, border and boundary, tourism, and strengthening cultural and inter-people bond.

Speculation are that India will agree to setting up chemical fertilizer industry in Nepal. The government has earlier announced to make available chemical fertilizers to farmers on time.

Similarly, earlier at the 5th meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) held in Bangladesh in presence of official representatives of both Nepal and Bangladesh, the latter had agreed to import 40MW of electricity from Nepal. However, in order to export electricity from Nepal to Bangladesh, India's transmission lines have to be used. Therefore, a discussion to attain consensus into the matter is also expected. 

READ ALSO: Bangladesh To Sign Power Sales Agreement with Nepal to Purchase 40 MW Electricity

Similarly, other projects include on while agreements will be signed or discussions will be held are Phukot-Karnali hydroelectric plant, Butwal-Gorakhpur cross-border transmission line, Lower Arun, integrated check post in Nepalgunj, railway expansion of Bijalpur, Biratnagar-Bathnaha (India) railway line, Kathmandu-Raxaul railway, motorable road in Chandani-Dodhara, and an agreement for a cross-border digital payment system, among others.