March 2: Finance Secretary Shishir Dhungana has informed that the budget for the upcoming fiscal year will focus on minimizing the damage caused by Covid-19 to the economy. Speaking at a pre-budget discussion program organized by the Nepal Revenue Advisory Committee in Biratnagar on March 1, Secretary Dhungana informed that the upcoming fiscal year’s budget will focus on reviving the economy affected by Covid-19.
He also informed that the main objective of the budget would be to increase government investments and create employment opportunities. Stating that the government will move forward with the concept of 3Rs - relief, recovery, and relevance- to improve the economy, he added that all economic indicators except the country's gross domestic product (GDP) are positive.
Finance Secretary Dhungana said that the statistics department is preparing to release the GDP data by the end of the second quarter.
Stating that Nepal will set its economic growth target based on the economic growth rate of China and India, he added that Covid-19 is likely to affect the inflow of foreign aid, and the country needs to increase its sources of revenue collection to meet the growth rate target.
He said that the government will take internal loans as per the international standard and norms. He added that discussions being held with the private sector regarding the complaints of the tax rates.
Dhungana further said that some importers ordering raw material and others ordering finished product has created confusion. He said that the issue should be resolved by the private sector itself.
Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning of Province 1 Uttar Kumar Khatri expressed the need for better revenue collection from riverine and forest products. He opined the need for re-evaluating the real estate registration tax and imposing tax on inheritance.