September 11: The government has come up with a measure to cut off all meeting allowances under the recurrent costs and subsequently utilize the savings of Rs 5 billion for the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma presented a substitution bill of the budget for the current fiscal year during a meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) on Friday, September 10.
The replacement bill announced curtailing of meeting allowance, fuel, maintenance, staff training cost, skills development and public awareness training and workshop costs, programme costs, monitoring and evaluation costs, visit costs and miscellaneous programme costs at a minimum rate of ten percent.
The amount of Rs 5 billion to be saved from the proposed austerity measure would be utilized to purchase vaccines, shared Finance Minster Sharma. The bill tabled in the parliament on Friday has substituted the budget introduced earlier by the erstwhile government through ordinance on May 29.
The then KP Sharma Oli-led government had dissolved the HoR on May 25 when preparation was underway to call the parliamentary session.
It was presumed that the budget unveiled through ordinance earlier would be substituted following the formation of a new government led by Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 to acute disease survivors
The incumbent government has announced a relief of Rs 5,000 per month to each of the patients having undergone kidney transplant, all types of cancer survivors and patients with spinal injuries as treatment and medicine support. This is expected to provide relief to a large number of kidney patients and cancer patients.
The substitution bill has also made arrangement to provide relief to the families who had sacrificed their lives in different political movements. The families of those devoting their lives to the people’s movement, people’s war, Madhes unrest and various political movements would receive Rs 3,000 each, the Minister informed.
Among other new measures included in the substituted bill are Rs 10,000 each to the coronavirus-infected patients from low-income family and those working in the informal sector for one time, providing subsidized grant to 500,000 disadvantaged families who lost their employment and income generation opportunities.
Necessary preparation is underway to distribute this grant amount to the needy families within mid-October in coordination with the local level. The government has increased the coverage of agro insurance and livestock insurance so as to attract farmers to this sector. -- RSS