May 8: The government is planning to give high priority to agriculture, production and employment in the budget of the upcoming fiscal year in an attempt to improve the economy of the country.
According to Dr Surendra Upreti, senior economic adviser at the Ministry of Finance, the country is performing poorly in agriculture at present. “Last year, agricultural products worth Rs 325 billion were imported. We need a new approach and different policies and programmes for the agricultural sector. A budget focused on promoting production-based economy will be introduced,” said Upreti.
He also claimed that despite some pressure on the external sector and inflation, the problem in the economy will be resolved soon. Upreti also said that the problem of loan investment is high as well. At the same time, imports have skyrocketed. Therefore, there was pressure on the external sector. “Problems occurred due to the high imports,” said Upreti adding that the second major problem at present is inflation.
Although inflation was expected to reach 6.5 percent in the current fiscal year, it climbed to 7.1 percent due to the Russia-Ukraine war, said Upreti. He further said that although the current year's economic growth rate is projected to reach 7 percent, it is not practically possible due to natural calamities.
Bank and Financial Advisor at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Shalikram Pokhrel said that the upcoming budget is focused on promoting small and medium enterprises. According to Pokhrel, who is working in the core team of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma, different approaches to formulate various policies were taken to strengthen the economy for a long term.
“The focus should now be on production and not just policy. The budget will be introduced accordingly.” Pokhrel said, adding, “There are many benefits if remittances can be linked to production.”
Economic and political analyst Hari Roka said that the upcoming budget should focus on agriculture and production. Roka also said that work should be done from the grassroots level to find a long-term solution to the current problems.