The private sector on Monday unveiled its wish list for the next administration, demanding that the government to be formed after the election formulate effective policies to check corruption, slash bank interest rates, prioritise promotion of small and medium enterprises and promote quality tourism.
Also high on the list is a clear road map to avoid double taxation to attract greater private sector investment. Federal and provincial polls are slated to be held in two phases on November 27 and December 6.
Speaking at an economic dialogue organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), participants spelled out their expectations from the incoming government as they reviewed the economic agendas
contained in the election manifestos of the major political parties.
“The private sector is expecting a commitment from the political parties that they will urge the government to prioritise the economic agenda,” said FNCCI President Bhawani Rana. “Entrepreneurs seek a clear provision to avoid multiple taxation while paying taxes to the local, provincial and central governments under the new federal system.”
The CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre) have formed a leftist coalition to contest the elections. It has pledged to boost the per capita income to $5,000 within a decade. The per capita income in fiscal 2016-17 was estimated to be $862, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Upgrading airports in Biratnagar, Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Dhangadhi to international standard, attracting 5 million tourists in the next 10 years and bringing a new education policy with the aim of developing 70 percent technical and 30 percent non-technical human resources are among the priorities given in its election manifesto.
Likewise, the Nepali Congress has said in its election manifesto that its main economic agenda consists of increasing the economy fourfold to Rs10 trillion in the next 10 years and advocating wealth redistribution programmes and social insurance schemes.
The party has also promised to attract foreign direct investment equivalent to 5 percent of the gross domestic product, raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the GDP to 15 percent from the existing 5 percent in the next 10 years, and link domestic manufacturers to the international supply chain.
Speaking at the programme, CPN (Maoist Center) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the left alliance had not included exaggerated targets in its manifesto. “We have envisioned only goals that can be fulfilled besides ending the monopoly of capitalism,” Mahara said.
Likewise, UML leader KP Oli stressed the need for high economic growth for sustainable development.
“There is a need to tap private sector investment by ensuring an investment-friendly environment,” said Oli. If the left alliance forms the government after the election, it will create a system to avoid multiple taxation.
Cooperatives are a way to create a large amount of funds from scattered money at the local level, and the private sector can make huge investments if there are profit opportunities, Oli said. He said that his priority was to make the country self-sustainable through optimum utilisation of technology and local resources and enhance production businesses.
Similarly, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat stressed the need to maintain fiscal discipline, improve productivity and increase efficiency of government officials to achieve the goals. “The introduction of ‘merit based bureaucracy’ and elimination of political intervention in government offices will help in this endeavour,” Mahat said.Published: 2017-11-21 08:43:40