Print Edition - 2014-07-14 | Nation
Oppn parties dub budget ‘anti-people’
Jul 13, 2014-
Opposition as well as some leaders of the ruling parties have expressed doubt that the new budget would provide a solid foundation for the country’s targeted economic growth and address the growing unemployment and inflation.
Parties said there is no paradigm shift in the economic policy, claiming that the budget presented at Parliament was a continuation of previous budgets that was aimed at capitalising cheap publicity.
During the presentation, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said the government has targeted eight percent economic growth to elevate
the country from the least developed to the club of developing countries by 2022. The National Planning Commission has set the ceiling of economic growith at six percent for the fiscal year 2014-2015.
“There is not substantial shift to achieve this goal. So, it is not possible to gain eight percent economic growth,” said senior UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai who has already served as prime minister and finance minister.
“The country’s economy and prosperity is demanding a major shift but unfortunately the new budget is without direction,” said Bhattarai
He added that attracting foreign investment and increasing revenue collection are two pillars to speed up the economic growth but the budget lacks a clear policy to properly address those issues.
Chairman of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) Kamal Thapa remarked the budget as ambitious. “The budget lacks a clear direction. It will increase the inflation but there is no plan to address the problem of unemployment,” Thapa said. “There are some positives in field of energy, infrastructure development and financial sectors. The budget is pessimistic about controlling inflation, unemployment and trade deficit.”
Although Mahat announced some new projects in the energy sector to end the power crisis within three years, he failed to mention any concrete plan about job creation.
Senior CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said the new budget has failed to meet people’s expectations. “The country is heading towards federalism but there are not any concrete policies about big infrastructure projects,” he said.
Chairman of Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party Narayan Man Bijukchhe said the government has failed to meet the aspirations of the people. “The socialist party Nepali Congress has brought a capitalist budget which failed to feel people’s pulse,” he said.
The ruling and opposition parties, however, appreciated the budget for introducing several noble programmes in the field of agriculture, especially the announcement to introduce relief programmes.
After 1990, Mahat faced criticism within his party for not paying enough attention to the agriculture sector. The budget has addressed demands of oppressed and margnalised. “There are some good initations in agriculture and social sector,” said NC leader Prakash Mahat.
Published: 14-07-2014 09:58