Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel has brought a budget of Rs 1.647 trillion for the fiscal year 2078/79 on Saturday. It was Rs 1.474 trillion for the fiscal year 2077/78.
He allocated Rs 678 billion (41.2%) for recurrent expenditure at the center, Rs 347.26 billion (22.7%) for capital expenditure, and Rs 207.97 billion (12.6%) for debt financing.
Similarly, Rs 386.71 billion (23.5%) has been allocated for transfer to the provinces and local bodies.
The budget plans to generate Rs 1.024 trillion through revenues, Rs 63.37 billion through foreign grant and generate the remaining amount of Rs 559 billion through foreign loans (Rs 309 billion) and domestic borrowing (Rs 250 billion).
It has aimed for an economic growth rate of 6.5 percent for the upcming fiscal year.
The budget basically focuses on COVID-19 pandemic allocating Rs 37.53 billion for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. It has allocated Rs 26.5 billion for procurement of vaccines and Rs 4 billion for medical equipment required for hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The government will not impose value-added tax (VAT) or customs duty on import of COVID-19 related supplies.
The government will provide 50 percent of capital investment on installation of oxygen plants by public and private hospitals on grant. They will also be given a discount of 50 percent on electricity tariff.
It has allocated Rs 10.03 billion for railways. The amount will be spent on study for metro in the Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu-Raxaul Railway and Kerung-Pokhara Railway, and to operate Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway.
The government has announced paid leave of 10 days for civil servants to revive the tourism sector ravaged by the pandemic. It will waive visa fee for a month for foreign tourists visiting Nepal.
It has raised all 10 kinds of social security allowances by 33 percent. The people older than 70 years will now receive Rs 4,000 per month.
It has also allocated budget for Larger Tundikhel project including the area from Dasharath Stadium to Narayanhiti Palace.
The government brought the budget through ordinance. President Bidya Devi Bhandari brought three ordinances—Economic Ordinance, Appropriation Ordinance and National Debt Raising Ordinance—on recommendation of the Cabinet to bring the budget and Finance Minister Paudel read the budget from the Singha Durbar as the House of Representatives (HoR) has been dissolved.