Amid political friction, Nepal’s President endorses budget ordinance

KATHMANDU: President Dr Ram Baran Yadav has on Tuesday certified the 'Ordinance authorizing using cash from the consolidated Fund and appropriating it for Services and Works to be carried out in 2069/70 BS'. The certification of the Ordinance was made as per Article 88 (1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2063 in order to give continuity to the day-to-day administration and development works of fiscal year 2068/69, according to the Office of the President. RSS The government has, in line with Article 88(1) of the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2063, brought budget through ordinance on Tuesday to meet the expenditure of the country for the remaining eight months. At a press conference organized at the Ministry of Finance immediately following the endorsement of budget ordinance-2069 BS earlier today, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun informed the media that the ordinance has delegated authority to expend two third budget of actual expenditure of the last fiscal year that stood at Rs 300.64 billion. The budget ordinance-2069 has delegated the authority to incur amount from the reserve fund and make necessary appropriation and expenses required for services and activities. Of the total amount approved for expenditure, the recurrent expenditure is Rs 200.468 billion while the capital expenditure is Rs 51.34 billion, he said. The ordinance has allocated necessary amount for election, army integration, national development, formation of general directorate of security, peace and security and daily administration. Similarly, the budget has allocated amount to continue social security allowances, free medication, arrangement for prisoners, salary to civil servants and security bodies. Likewise, for the continuation of the projects with national pride and priority and the development projects run with foreign aid, ample budget has been allocated. Giving continuity to the revenue related policy being enforced in the last fiscal year, the government has kept the tax rates as it is in accordance with the Economic Act-2068 BS. At the press meet, FM Pun informed about the economic problems faced as a result of lack of full-fledged budget and claimed that the government had made utmost efforts to bring complete budget garnering suggestion from the stakeholders as well as all the political parties, former finance ministers, private sector, traders and industrialists and economists. He further said the consensus on full budget eluded after the opposition used the budget as a political weapon. Due to the delay in full budget, uncertainty grew on economic policy, development programmes, daily administration and utilization of foreign aid. The Finance Minister accused the opposition of becoming grossly dishonest in the economic agenda. Against this backdrop, the budget ordinance as 'allocation and expenditure of budget from reserved fund for service and works 2069' was issued by the President finally. Also, he made a quick review of the economic condition of the country. According to him, the gross domestic production rate saw increase by 4.6 percent in the fiscal year 2011/12 while the inflation rate was 8.3 percent. It is also expected that the annual average inflation would be limited to 8 percent. With gradual improvement, the NEPSE crossed 500 points. The real estate market is also improving. The balance of payment in the two months of the fiscal year 2012/013 is Rs 3.82 billion. The foreign exchange reserve at the last of Asoj in this fiscal year is Rs 428 billion. In the last fiscal year, revenue mobilization increased by 22.2 per cent thereby generating RS 244.36 billion in revenue. And in the last of Asoj of this fiscal year, it grew by 31 per cent. The government expense till the last of Asoj of this fiscal year was Rs. 52.58 billion. Presenting economic indicators, FM Pun argued that the overall economic status of the country was satisfactory with positive indexes. At the press meet, Finance Minister Pun said that the President did not set any condition while certifying the budget rather he accepted it with good faith. The President accepted the budget without any change, he said, adding that government presented the budget as per the constitution. However, he said the government failed to bring full-fledged budget due to the irresponsibility on part of the opposition parties. Mr Pun argued that the budget was brought as per the principle of necessity. Despite this, there was no condition to have the President to issue the Appropriation Ordinance 2069, Loan and Security Ordinance 2069 and the Ordinance Raising Public Debt 2069. The press meet was attended by Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudel, Secretary at the Office of the President Krishna Hari Baskota, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi, members of the Planning Commission, advisor to the finance ministry Shree Ram Poudel and others. RSS

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