Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat is to present the budget of the coming fiscal year 2023/24 at the joint session of the Federal Parliament on Monday as per the constitutional provision to announce the estimates of government income and expenditure on Jestha 15 (end of May) every year.
The size of budget for the next year would be around Rs. 1688 billion, as per the ceiling the National Planning Commission (NPC) set earlier in February this year. As per the Economic Procedures and Financial Accountability Act-2076, the planning body should set the ceiling of the budget by Magh 15 (end of January) every year. It takes into account the estimates of the availability of resources and expenditures for the next three years while setting the limit for the budget.
The size of next year's budget is going to be around 9 per cent larger than the budget of the current FY 2022/23 - Rs. 1549.99 billion (adjusted budget size from the initial announcement of Rs. 1793 billion).
In infrastructure, Kathmandu-Terai Expressway, East-West Highway, North-South Corridor, and connectivity to all centres of local bodies are the areas of priority.
Minister Dr. Mahat had expressed his commitment that there would be no shortage of funds for the national pride projects. Similarly, investment-friendly environment creation, reforms in service delivery, promotion of good governance and zero tolerance against corruption have also got their way into the priorities of the budget.
However, FM Dr. Mahat would face shortage of resources to implement the programmes and projects as the country is reeling from the economic crisis and government is facing a tough challenge even to manage funds to run everyday activities.
By Saturday, the government has collected Rs. 824.6 billion revenue which is just 56.53 per cent of the total annual target of Rs. 1458.6 billion. But the government expenditures have reached Rs. 1098.2 billion creating a gap of Rs. 274 billion in its income and expenditures.
The capital expenditure has remained meager with just 35.6 per cent (Rs. 135.4 billion) of the annual target of Rs. 380.3 billion. However, through the mid-term review of the budget, finance ministry had lowered the revenue estimates to Rs. 1244 billion. The government is running short of funds even to implement its adjusted budget of Rs. 1549 billion.
Source: The Rising Nepal