Print Edition - 2015-06-30 | MONEY
Draft constitution sets Jestha 15 for annual budget
Jun 29, 2015-
The draft of the new constitution prepared by the Constitution Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly has provisioned the annual budget would
be presented on Nepali date of Jestha 15 at the federal parliament every year.
The political parties agreed to fix the budget presentation date amid complaints that development activities suffered due to delayed budget presentation and its endorsement. Due to the political wrangling, budget presentation and endorsement could not take place in time over the last five years.
Former vice-chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Shankar Sharma said fixing a certain date for budget presentation in the constitution was a positive step as it would end budget presentation-related uncertainties.
Delayed budget presentation and programmes’ approval in the past resulted in delayed implementation of development projects, minimising economic output potential of the country. “It gives more time for project implementation as programme approvals are largely concluded before the fiscal year begins in mid-July,” said Sharma.
Due to procedural delays in programme and project approval and longer tender procedure, the contract award for development projects usually gets delayed. As a result, 70 percent of the budget had been spent in the last quarter of the fiscal year over the last few years.
Despite efforts to introduce budget in May in the past few years, the government has been failing to do so due to political wrangling. “Once the political parties are compelled to follow the provision of the constitution, it will help bring stability in budget presentation,” said Sharma.
This will also end the dispute over which government brings the budget. “The new government can bring supplementary budget,” said Sharma.
The draft of the new constitution has given the government authority to impose property tax. The business community has long been speaking against such taxation. According to the draft, the state can impose property tax based on the spirit of progressive taxation.
Sharma said imposing property tax is not a new concept, but double taxation should be avoided. “Such tax is usually imposed on accumulated properties instead of moving ones,” said Sharma. “Even in Texas, the US, property tax is relatively higher because it does not impose income tax.”
Published: 30-06-2015 08:32