How do private sector, public react to the budgetFinance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Monday announced a Rs1.75 trillion budget estimate for the fiscal year 2023-24. The Post spoke to private sector representatives and a student for comments on the budget.
Sur Krishna Vaidya, Vice President (Industry Commerce), FNCCI
The budget talking about easing land use for industrial purposes will ease the private sector to acquire the required land. Easing the registration process of companies is also good. The provision opening plotting of land will also help to revitalise the economy.
Without land transactions and share transactions, economic activities suffer. We have been asking for a lowering of the interest rate. We expect the monetary policy will address it.
Saroj Dhakal, a BBA student at Shanker Dev campus
The budget for the upcoming fiscal year is realistic and better than the budget of previous years. The government has deducted unnecessary expenditures and allocated funds only in those sectors where the return is promising. This is a welcome change. In addition to that, the government also has adopted a flexible policy for microenterprises and startups by promising the registration and deregistration of the company online.
The provision to register the company at Rs100 is praiseworthy. However, it’s doubtful if the budget will be effective to address the needs of the general public, such as inflation and liquidity crisis. The government has also allocated a small portion of the budget for capital expenditure, which is insufficient to meet the expectation of the public.
Dhruba Thapa, president of the NADA Automobile Dealer Association of Nepal
The budget for the upcoming fiscal year is satisfactory. There isn't anything mentioned specifically about the tax rates and subsidies on the automobile sector, so we are in the stage of wait and watch for the automobile industry,” said Thapa.
However, the increment in tax on imports of electric vehicles and decrease in the subsidy of the automobile assembly industry will badly hurt the industry. Thapa suggested that it's better if the government gives a continuation to the existing tax rates for the automobile sector.
Umesh Prasad Singh, president of the Federation of Nepali Cottage and Small Industries
The budget has been successful in addressing the contemporary needs of micro-enterprises. The provision of re-loan, and lowered paid-up capital provision for the startups will revive and establish many micro-enterprises hit by the pandemic. The budget has prioritised the manufacturing industries and the provision of on-the-job training will help us to produce skilled manpower in the coming days. It’s welcome to see that the government is adopting a liberal policy towards marijuana for medical purposes.
That will help to increase the income of the public in rural areas. However, the representatives of the tourism sector have said that the budget for the upcoming fiscal year is a continuation of the budgets from earlier years, instead of being innovative and encouraging to help businesses recover from the losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Binayak Shah, president of the Hotel Association Nepal
There is no specific programme to uplift the tourism industry except the provision for the tourism decade 2023-2033. Hoteliers had requested the government to declare the tourism sector as a priority sector and industry. However, it's categorised as a service sector in the budget.
The Policy and the Programmes of the government presented a few days back had promised to celebrate 2025 as a special tourism year, however, it's omitted from the budget. The main need of the tourism industry at present is the development of infrastructure and promotion and it's worth waiting to see how it's addressed in action by the budget.
Surakchya Adhikari, chief operating officer and co-founder of Thulo.com
The budget is encouraging as it has addressed all the demands of young entrepreneurs such as greater funding for the promotion of startups and higher budget allocation for innovation, research and development. Lowering the registration cost will encourage more business owners to enter the formal economy.
The government has adopted an encouraging and liberal policy towards IT startups by eliminating the minimum bar for foreign direct investment. This will help to foster the ecosystem of startups in the country.