By Our Reporter
The government is now preparing the budget for the fiscal year 2019/20. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives and National Assembly have suggested the government to introduce the budget by narrowing down the priorities during the budget discussion in the parliament.
Finance Minister Dr Yub Raj Khatiwada had assured that the budget of the coming fiscal year would come as per the principle of fiscal federalism.
Minister Khatiwada will be presenting the budget in a fortnight. However, there are speculations that the budget distribution will be influenced by the powerful leaders as they intend to allocate budget for their electoral constituencies. Obviously, the biggest chunk of the development budget will go to the constituencies of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, CPN chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN general secretary Bishnu Poudel. The main opposition Nepal Congress has accused PM Oli of acting like the Mayor of Damak in Jhapa from where he was elected to the House because of the allocation of development projects in the city. It will be no wonder if Damak Municipality received more budget than a district of the hilly areas.
Although Finance Minister Khatiwada has denied that the budget would be populist one, the government will surely try to please the senior citizens and employees by increasing their allowances and pays. It is rumoured that the government is mulling over increasing the pays of the government employees by 20 per cent and senior citizens allowance by Rs. 1000 a month. The pay hike is sure to increase the market price and the government, as in the past will do nothing to control the price rise.
[Opposition leaders blame PM as mayor of Damak only…budget diverted to influential leaders’ electoral constituencies]