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Zero progress in 22 economic sector programs

Zero progress in 22 economic sector programs

While successive federal budgets introduce a range of initiatives pertaining to the economy and private industry, their execution consistently falls short. The majority of the programs that are outlined in the budget seldom come to fruition in terms of execution.

A study by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) shows only 18 percent of the economic sector programs announced in the 2022/23 federal budget have been fully implemented.

The CNI study highlights there is no satisfactory progress in most of the policies and programs that are directly related to the economic sectors. In its ‘CNI Budget Watch’ initiative, CNI has identified 62 points related to the economic development of the country, investment, and the private sector. According to the study, only 11 points have been implemented in the last FY. Similarly, the study shows 47 percent (29 points) were partially implemented. However, the remaining 35 percent (22 points) of policies and programs have no progress at all.

The CNI study says the issues related to foreign investment have been implemented to some extent, but the implementation of infrastructure, start-up, and land sector-related issues has been weak.

Among those are the policy of a minimum threshold of Rs 20m in foreign direct investment, arrangements of automatic approval of investments up to Rs 100m, 10 percent share reservation in the initial public offering (IPO) of companies for Nepalis in foreign employment, and initial approval of large foreign investments through electronic means within seven days.

Most of the policies and programs related to infrastructure, tourism, industry, and agriculture have not been implemented. The CNI study highlights that the overall budget implementation has remained poor in the last fiscal year. According to the Confederation, issues such as changes in tax rates and discount facilities related to the Economic Act have naturally been implemented immediately. “The progress of implementation of the points mentioned in the budget related to policy changes, legal reforms, and structural changes is disappointing,” said the report.

Similarly, there has been no progress in the announcement such as the construction and operation of the industrial areas in potential areas including Shaktikhor in Chitwan in the public-private partnership. According to CNI, the government’s promise of reviewing the provisions regarding the delimitation of land required for the establishment of industries, arranging the land lease for 50 years for industries, and mortgaging of land in excess of the limit in the name of industrial businesses to take loans has not happened in the last fiscal year.

The fact that only 72 percent of the revenue target has been achieved in the last fiscal year shows the laxity in income and expenditure has revealed the weakness of budget implementation.

The budget implementation in the last fiscal year remained poor as the government managed to spend only 79.7 percent of the total allocated budget while only 72 percent of the revenue target was achieved. “The imbalance of both income and expenditure exposes the weakness of budget planning and implementation,” says the CNI study.

The ‘CNI Budget Watch’ has included 12 sectors, namely startup, information technology, tourism, industry and SMEs, land, foreign investment, public-private partnership, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, domestic production and export promotion, and others.

58 percent of industries still use generators: CNI

In what shows the government struggling to supply adequate electricity to the industrial sector, a new report by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) shows 57.89 percent of industries have been using generators as an alternative power source.

The CNI’s recent Industry Status Report says since the electricity supply provided by NEA is from a common feeder for an area, it reduces the reliability. “A separate feeder is essential for commercial purposes,” says the report. The manufacturing industries using generators as alternative sources of energy stated that there is an additional 8.05 percent of cost increase due to the use of generators.