KATHMANDU, July 16 -- Although Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun failed to present a full budget, he did spell out the priorities the government had set for the full budget.
According to the finance minister, the target of double-digit growth was the prime focus of the full budget planned for 2012-13. While presenting one-third budget on Sunday, Pun made public some of the populist and new programmes that were part of the full budget.
According to Pun, the government had planned to introduce citizens' pension fund targeting landless farmers, health insurance scheme, guarantee of 100 days of employment and 50 days of unemployment allowance.
On the infrastructure front, the government had planned detailed designing of Dudhkoshi and Madi hydropower projects and feasibility study of Aandhikhola, Nyasalgad and Tamor projects. There were also plans for handing over multi-fuel plants in Hetauda and Duhabi to the private sector, besides structural reforms in Nepal Electricity Authority.
For the private sector, the government had plans to establish infrastructure development bank, draft an integrated act related to investment, incentives to export-oriented industries and honouring women entrepreneurs. The government was also planning to endorse the new industrial enterprises act and accreditation board act to facilitate entrepreneurs.
The full budget also had a list of awards, including the Prime Minister Entrepreneur Award for businessmen investing above Rs 1 billion and President Best Farmer Award to encourage agriculture sector. The government had also envisioned holding feasibility study to establish a polytechnic institute each in all districts. Other programmes included insurance for people suffering from cancer and diseases related to heart and kidney.
For promoting private sector investment, Pun said they had planned relief and promotional packages for investors.
Among the plans for agriculture sector were establishment of a fertiliser plant, increasing subsidy on chemical fertilisers, improved seeds, preparing seed vision-2025 and expanding the one village, one product programme to 22 districts. Setting up of an agriculture development fund, establishing landfill sites and modern slaughter houses in all municipalities, grants to production and processing plants of agro products and high priced herbals were some other plans for the agriculture sector.
For tourism, announcement of Adventure Sports Year was planned, besides facilitating the private sector for setting up star hotels in Rara and Dhor Patan and construction of a cable car service in Swargadwari, Pathivara and Gosainkunda. Another plan was purchasing two aircraft for the Nepal Airlines Corporation.
On social security front, the government had plans to make basic health services free, start super specialised service outside Kathmandu to strengthen regional and zonal hospitals, and health insurance programme for 20 diseases, including those related to heart.
What was in the store
Citizens' pension fund for landless farmers
Health insurance scheme
Guarantee of 100 days of employment and 50 days of jobless allowance
Handing over multi-fuel plants in Hetauda and Duhabi to private sector
Infrastructure development bank
Incentives to export-oriented industries
Endorsement of Industrial Enterprises Act and Accreditation Board Act
Prime Minister Entrepreneur Award
President Best Farmer Award
Establishing landfill sites and modern slaughter houses in all municipalities
Published by HT Syndication with permission from EKantipur.com.
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