Government unveils Rs1.75 trillion budget for upcoming fiscal yearThe budget size for the next fiscal year 2023-24, beginning mid-July, is 2.3 percent less than the unrevised budget of the current fiscal year.
Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Monday announced a Rs1.75 trillion budget estimate for the fiscal year 2023-24.
The budget size for the next fiscal year 2023-24, beginning mid-July, is 2.3 percent less than the unrevised budget of the current fiscal year. The government had allocated Rs1.79 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.
Addressing a joint session of the Parliament on Monday, Minister Mahat said that the recurrent expenditure has been estimated to be Rs1.14 trillion which is 65.2 percent of the total budget.
Likewise, the capital expenditure has been estimated to be Rs 302 billion, which is 17.25 percent of the budget, and the expenditure for financial management has been estimated at Rs 307 billion, 17.55 percent of the budget.
According to Mahat, the source of financing will be Rs 1.24 trillion from revenue, Rs 49.94 billion from foreign grants, Rs 212 billion from external loans, and Rs 240 billion from internal loans.
The total government expenditure by the end of the current fiscal year was estimated to be Rs 1.5 trillion, which is 83.90 percent of the total allocation. While recurrent expenditure was estimated to be Rs 1.04 trillion, capital expenditure and expenditure on financial management were estimated to be Rs258 billion and Rs203 billion, respectively.
This year, the nation’s economic growth rate is expected to be only 2.16 percent. The economic growth rate was estimated to be 5.8 percent the previous year. However, the target was not achieved due to the decrease in economic activities.
The government has allocated Rs58.98 billion for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development for the upcoming financial year. This amount is Rs3.01 billion more than the current fiscal year.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, Rs55.97 billion was allocated for agriculture and livestock. The government has also allocated Rs30 billion to subsidise chemical fertilisers to farmers. The budget has also mentioned giving priority to local production.
The government has also announced to remove the limit of foreign investment in the information technology industry. Mahat said that an environment will be created to attract foreign investment in the information technology industry.
Meanwhile, the government has allocated Rs8.25 billion for Local Infrastructure Development Partnership Programme, for the upcoming fiscal year.
The programme, popularly known as Constituency Development Fund, was shelved two years ago on the grounds of misuse of the budget and for being against the spirit of federalism.
The government is going to continue the midday meal in public schools. Minister Mahat announcing the budget at the joint meeting of the parliament, said that under the midday meal program, students cannot be given junk food for lunch.
The government has allocated Rs8.45 billion for mid-day meals and estimates that 3.2 million students will benefit from the programme.
Likewise, Rs1.42 billion has been allocated for free sanitary pads for girl students. The government is going to continue the free sanitary pad program given to school girls in the budget of the next financial year.
The government has also announced its plan to construct one model residential community school in Dhankuta, Bardibas, Tansen, Surkhet and Dadeldhura by adopting the operational modality of Kathmandu-based Budhanilkantha School and Pokhara-based Gandaki Boarding School.
The government has allocated a budget of Rs197 billion for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The government has allocated Rs197 billion to the education sector an increase of Rs910 million from last fiscal year. In the fiscal year 2022-23, Rs196 billion was allocated for the sector. In the runup to the House of Representatives elections held last November, major political parties had promised to increase the budget for education.
The government has increased the budget for the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation for the upcoming fiscal year. Finance Minister Mahat said that for the fiscal year 2023-24, a budget of Rs28.16 billion has been allocated to this ministry.
The government has allocated Rs1.05 billion for the President Chure-Tarai Madhes Conservation and Management Program. Mahat said that the master plan for the conservation of chure will be implemented with the participation of the federal, state and local levels.
The government has announced that the Tribhuvan University Cricket Ground in Kirtipur will be developed as an international-level cricket ground.
Minister Mahat, during the budget announcement, also announced the construction of four more stadiums.
The government plans to construct Girija Prasad Koirala Cricket Stadium in Biratnagar, Dasharath Chand Cricket Stadium in Baitadi, Phapla Cricket Stadium in Kailali and Subarna Shamser Cricket Stadium in Kathmandu.
The government has announced its plan to install smart traffic lights at 44 more busy intersections in Kathmandu in the upcoming fiscal year.
Mahat said that 900 megawatts of electricity will be added to the national transmission within one year.
Presenting the budget, Mahat said that within the next two years, renewable energy technologies such as micro and small hydropower, solar and wind will be expanded to the households in remote areas where the national transmission line does not reach, so as to guarantee electricity to 10o percent of the population.
Meanwhile, the government has kept the social security allowance unchanged for the upcoming fiscal year. The amount of Rs4,000 that elderlies above 68 years receive will continue, said Mahat. The government has allocated Rs157.73 billion for the social security scheme.
The government is going to establish a rehabilitation centre for women victims of violence in Bhaktapur.
“The quality of legal assistance, psychosocial counselling and other services provided to victims of sexual violence will be increased. For that ‘Mangla-Sahana Rehabilitation Centre’ will be built in Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur,” said Mahat.
The government announced the plan to build a rehabilitation centre for women victims of violence in the name of former Nepali Congress leader Mangala Devi Singh and CPN-UML leader Sahana Pradhan.
The budget for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has been increased by Rs120 million. Minister Mahat announced that Rs8.71 billion has been allocated to the ministry. In the previous fiscal year, the ministry was allocated Rs8.59 billion.
The government has announced that the Nepal Climate Model Program will be conducted at 43 local levels. Minister Mahat said that national goals related to the mitigation and adaptation of climate change will be achieved through the coordination and cooperation of the federal, state and local levels. He informed that weather forecasting and early warning systems will be made more reliable.
The government has announced a revised estimate for the mobilisation of foreign aid in the upcoming fiscal year. Minister Mahat announced Rs 384 billion in foreign grants and Rs170 billion in loans for the coming fiscal year. He said that the mobilisation of foreign aid was less than expected due to the poor implementation of various projects.
In the current fiscal year, the country had estimated to receive Rs248 billion as foreign grants and Rs172 billion in loans. But the government has received much less foreign aid than expected this year.
The government has increased the budget of the Ministry of Health and Population by Rs 14 billion. Finance Minister Mahat said that Rs83.99 billion has been allocated to the ministry for the fiscal year 2023-24.