Budget of 1.53 trillion unveiled for fiscal year 2019/20 (with highlights)

Kathmandu / May 29: Finance Minister Yuvaraj Khatiwada has unveiled a total budget of Rs 1.53 trillion for the fiscal year 2019/20.

At the budget unveiling programme in the Federal Parliament, Minister Khatiwada apprised the house on the progress in programmes announced in the previous budget and stated that Nepal aimed to achieve the status of a middle-income country by 2030.

The budget for 2019/20 has set an economic growth target of seven per cent and focuses on social justice, increment in exports to reduce the trade deficit, and increase in general productivity.

The budget also looks to completing incomplete projects from the current fiscal. Specific standards have been set for the transfer of development projects to province and local governments.

Minister Khatiwada said the federal government will be working in cooperation with the provincial and local levels, along with the private sectors and cooperatives.

The total fiscal budget has been allocated for education, health, science and technology, agriculture, drinking water and hygiene, social security, employment tourism, industry, commerce and supplies, energy, transportation, urban development, among other sectors.

Major Highlights

Revenue distribution: 130 bn between provincial and local levels.

EDUCATION: Free education up to secondary level. 70 districts to be designated the status of fully literate districts.

2 bn appropriated for colourful textbooks for primary level. Free day-meals for 2.2 million school children.

Free sanitary pads for female students attending public schools.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Over 110 bn allocated for Madan Bhandari Science and Technology University. Science-tech lab to be established in each province.

6 bn allocated for free insurance service in all districts.

HEALTH: Grants increased for treatment of 8 severe illnesses. 2.2 bn appropriated for new-mothers’ travel expenses. Rs 3000 to be provided as annual allowance to 52,000 female community health volunteers.

5 bn to establish health service providing facilities at local levels. 400 mn allocated for establishment of Ramraja Prasad Singh Hospital in Rajbiraj.

400 million appropriated for betterment of Bir Hospital.

Absolute ban on smoking and drinking in public places.

92% of population to be provided full access to drinking water in the coming fiscal. 7 bn allocated for Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

Over 43 bn budget allocated for drinking water and hygiene.

Social security allowance to pregnant women and elderly. Senior Citizens allowance sees an increment of Rs 1000 (increased from Rs 2000 to Rs 3000).

Employment schemes for people with disabilities.

Coming fiscal to be marked as Youth Mobilisation Year. Youth Scientists Conference to be held in the coming year.

AGRICULTURE: Grants in purchase of agricultural products and technology. Schemes for achieving self-sufficiency in dairy, poultry and fresh vegetables. Grants on fertilisers.

Organic farming to be encouraged.

Fruit cultivation to be doubled in the next 5 years. Food Quality Lab to be set in every province. 500 mn appropriated for community farming.

34 bn allocated for agriculture.

A budget of 23.6 bn allocated for irrigation programmes. 960 million allocated for irrigation programmes in Tarai. Sunkoshi Marine to be developed as a National Pride Project. 2.05 bn allocated.

5.6 bn allocated for construction of dams.

Next fiscal to be marked as Tree Plantation Year. Security to be beefed in forest areas. Newer practices to be launched in livestock management. 1bn for ‘Rashtrapati Chure Programme’.

LAND MANAGEMENT: Land Management act to be introduced for sustainable utilisation of land. Encroached public lands to be brought under government within the next fiscal. Online issuance of land-ownership certificate within the next two years.

TOURISM: Tourism sector a top priority. Stress on infrastructure for development of main tourist areas. Trail connecting Darchula to Taplejung to be developed. Operation of cable-cars to encouraged in mountainous regions.

Government officials to gift only homemade products as and when needed.

Private and cooperative sector to be encouraged for production of necessary commodities. Local cement and rods to be encouraged in construction. To be self-sufficient in production of at least 2 dozen products.

Hetauda and Udayapur cement factories to be made more efficient.

Local products to be promoted.

Import of luxury goods and health-unfriendly products to be discouraged.

Economic zone to be established in Kavre and Nuwakot. 50% concession to Nepali textile industry on electricity.

Infrastructure development at trade transit points in the north. Business with third counties to begin via Chinese port.

Complete pending works on pipeline by the next year to facilitate import of petroleum products.

ENERGY: At least two big hydropower projects in all seven provinces. 13 bn allocated for Budhigandaki, 2.02 bn for Budhiganga. Tamor project to be a National Pride Project. Province 2, Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province to have ‘full-access’ to power/electricity.

4.5 bn for rural electrification. Waste-to-energy to be encouraged.

TRANSPORTATION: 163 bn appropriated for Railway and Waterways. Digital cards for payments for public transport. 1.5bn for transport management. Electric buses to be introduced in ‘major’ cities. NEA to install charging stations.

Additional budget for development of Narayani and Koshi waterways.

URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Feasibility study to be conducted for development of Mega-city and Smart-city. 530 million allocated to replace thatched roofs of 20,000 houses. 4.3 bn for construction of 30,000 houses under housing project.

Convention centre with a capacity to accommodate 3,000 people to be constructed in the Valley, this year. City halls to be constructed in local levels. Compulsory footpath, underground cable management.

47.7 bn allocated for housing and urban development.

MP’s constituency budget (MP fund) increased to Rs 60 million.

1 bn for Dharahara reconstruction (to be completed within the next two years). 141 billion appropriated for reconstruction. 9 bn for infrastructural development in each electoral constituency.

Online visas for foreign nationals.

National Defence University to be established.

18-20% (non-gazetted-gazetted) increment in salaries of public service personnel.

National Knowledge Centre to be established at Khumaltar. Tribhuvan International Airport to be upgraded to a boutique airport. Gautam Buddha International Airport to come into operation next year.

Contractors to be held responsible for the upkeep of their projects for five years after completion.

VAT and other taxes to be made more effective through improved taxation system. VAT rates to stay intact. Changes in customs rate. Reduction in import reliance.

Budget size: 1.53 trillion, Recurrent Budget: 957.1 billion, Capital Expenditure: 408.59 billion, Financing: 167.5 billion

Elderly people to get Rs 3000 allowance each month

The government has increased the elderly allowance to Rs 3,000 from the current Rs 2,000.

With the increment, elderly people above 70 years will now get Rs 3000 each month, according to the budget speech delivered by Finance Minister Khatiwada at the Federal Parliament on Wednesday. This new scheme will benefit more than 130, 00,00.

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