“Budget Must Not Be Made A Political Issue”

<br><strong>Suraj Baidhya,</strong> President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI)

Nov. 11, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

What do you think about the politicization of budget?


Budget is an economic issue and it must not be made a political issue. Every political party should forge consensus to bring budget. Promulgation of budget should not be delayed at any cost as budget is the lifeline of a country. If the political parties fail to forge consensus soon it might make the country a failed state. If not other things, at least there should be consensus on the budget to take the economy of the nation forward.

 

What kind of message does budget send to the foreign investors?

 

A budget is a necessity. It is needed even to ensure a predictable environment for investors. Without budget, nobody will be willing to invest here. We are made to pay taxes when there is no environment for proper expenditure. This will send a very bad message to the international community.

 

What effects does the lack of budget have on the private sector?

 

Lack of clear fiscal policy has pushed the private sector and foreign investors into uncertainties, thereby affecting flow of investment, industrial expansion and job creation. The government is not just a motivator but also the biggest consumer. So poor government spending has led to a decline in demand in the market. Instead of relying on meeting with the top political leadership, we will go for mass mobilization for budget this time. We may go to an extent of not paying the taxes as there is no guarantee that the taxes we pay will be spent in proper places in the absence of budget.

 

How do you see the prospects of the Investment Year 2012/13?

 

Achieving its goals will not be easy. We don´t know whether the election will take place. We don´t know whether the constitution will be written. Even if the election happens, we don´t know who will lead the government and how the basic policies and laws will be framed in the country. Confusion on these matters could easily deter the potential foreign investors. For investment year to be successful, the government must reform labor laws, restrict destructive forms of strikes that affect production process, work out reliable power supply mechanism for industries, and provide attractive incentives to the investors. Hence, the Investment Year 2012/13 program does not excite us the way it should.

 

(Based on daily newspapers)

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