Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada is presenting over Rs. 1575 billion budget for the fiscal year 2019/20 in Parliament today. It is reported that the new budget will be populist with increase in the salary of government employees, monthly social protection to the elderly.
For a technocrat like Khatiwada, resisting political pressure for populist programmes will also be a challenge, just as he will have to set the tone for the subsequent years, as the KP Oli administration has been making ambitious plans—achieving a double-digit growth by 2024/25.
Speaker of House of Representatives; Krishna Bahadur Mahara announced the date and timing of budget for upcoming fiscal year 2076/77. This year’s budget will be Khatiwada’s second presentation on how Nepalese economy will mold in the days to come. Last year, finance minister Khatiwada set the target economic growth of 8%. Many parliamentary members from the party of opposition and few members from the same party out lashed Khatiwada’s budget policy last year labeling it as “extremely optimistic”.
Khatiwada’s assurance of an 8% economic growth did not live up to the expectation. However, recent Nepal Investment Summit and several conferences with World Bank and International Monetary Fund have paved paths for foreign direct investment and infrastructural development.