Print Edition - 2015-02-21 | MONEY
Industry Ministry wants three-fold budget hike
Feb 20, 2015-The Industry Ministry has demanded a three-fold increase in its annual budget arguing that its Rs 3.48 billion yearly allowance wasn’t enough to address the country’s industrial sector.
Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet said that they had requested the National Planning Commission (NPC) to raise the budget ceiling to Rs 9.11 billion for the next fiscal year. The NPC has increased the budget ceiling for the Industry Ministry by 19 percent for the next fiscal year.
“We have prepared programmes and projects for the next fiscal that will required the said amount of funding,” said Basnet, adding that the programme lists had already been submitted to the NPC.
Speaking at an interaction programme, Basnet said that the NPC should accord priority to industrial growth, and that a substantial budget was needed to make that happen. He said that a large chunk of the budget goes into paying the salaries of its employees.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal expressed concern over the deteriorating productivity of the industrial sector. He said that the country’s industrial sector had a nominal share in the GDP.
“This is alarming. The world is changing and so are our two big neighbours. We should speed up and catch up the momentum,” Khanal said. “The country would embark to an industrial development journey once the constitution is promulgated.” The whole country is focused on writing the constitution, and once this process is completed, we will have to shift gears and work for economic development, Khanal said.
Similarly, former finance minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said the government should be able to increase its capability to spend the capital budget.
“The capital expenditure of the ministries in the first six months of the current fiscal is very weak,” Adhikari said, adding that there was a need to promote small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to achieve the country’s development aspiration.
“We need to promote SMEs for industrial growth as well as job creation, and substantial financial access should be guaranteed for them.”
Published: 21-02-2015 07:28