Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/20

Rs 34.80 B for agriculture and livestock sectors

Kathmandu, May 30: The government has allocated Rs. 34.80 billion for the overall development of agriculture and livestock sectors. 
Presenting the budget for the fiscal year 2019/20, Finance Minister Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada said that the government had allocated the budget for the development of the agriculture related sectors, including irrigation, rural road, rural electrification, market and storage. 
He said that the budget had proposed to provide assistance in agricultural inputs, chemical fertilisers and subsidised loan for agro business and capital grant for the machinery inputs.
The government has allocated Rs. 8.1 billion for the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project targeting to expand this programme by restructuring it.
Under this programme, the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Programme will be extended to 69,000 hectares of land by adding 39 zones, including 31 crops and eight livestock rearing centres throughout the country. 
Based on the feasibility, buckwheat and soybeans zone will be determined.
The budget has set a target to make the county self-reliant in basic foods at the earliest by increasing the production of agriculture and livestock items.
He said that the government had allocated budget for operating the special programmes for promoting vegetable farming, fishery and livestock rearing to make the country self-reliant in milk, fish, meat and fresh vegetables in the next fiscal year.
“To ensure smooth supply of the chemical fertiliser for increasing the agro products, I have increased subsidy in the purchase of the chemical fertilisers by 50 per cent. For, this I have allocated Rs. 9 billion,” he said.
As per the policy to provide subsidy to the sugarcane farmers as per their production, the government has allocated a budget of Rs. 950.
The government would give continuity to its programme to promote the indigenous and local crops, he said, adding that the government has proposed required budget for testing the quality of seeds in all seven States.
“To double the fruit production zone within the next five years, we will operate the fruit sapling distribution campaign across the country to increase the production of fruits,” he said.
He said that the budget has focused on increasing the production of high value crops, off season fruits and vegetables and its packing and to encourage for its export.
The budget has focused on promoting the rooftop farming to produce organic vegetables in the urban areas by utilising the garbage produced in the home, he said.
“We will encourage establishing organic agriculture farms in all States. We will focus on organic production in Karnali and other hilly areas,” he said.
The budget has taken initiative to attract foreign returnees who have agriculture knowledge for organic agriculture farming, he said.
“I have managed to provide grant from the State and Local governments to establish the agriculture market and other infrastructure and its operation through the cooperatives with the cooperation of the State and Local governments,” he said.
The government would give priority to the development of information technology with mobile apps to provide agro related information to the farmers, he said.
“We will manage for the utilisation of cold storage constructed under the grant for the farmers in minimum service and charge,” he said.
The budget has proposed to operate the “healthy food for all’ campaign to reach the grass roots in the next fiscal year, he said, adding that the budget has proposed to establish food testing lab in all States.
The budget has set a target to control the import of quality less agro- related goods. 
The government has proposed to deploy at least one technician to each local level, he said. 

Rs. 2.68 billion allocated for tourism sector

Kathmandu, May 30: The government has allocated 2.68 billion rupees for tourism sector in its budget for the fiscal year 2019/20.
Presenting the budget for the fiscal year fiscal year 2019/20, Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada said that the government had allocated the budget keeping in mind about the growing economy, creating new jobs and increasing income with the help of tourism sector in the country. Dr. Khatiwada said that the budget allocated was to boost Visit Nepal Year 2020 by promoting Nepal as an attractive, safe, adventurous and entertaining destination in the world. 
“Many new touristic places will be discovered, new infrastructure will be constructed and development will take place in the tourist destinations and sectors,” said Khatiwada
Minister Khadiwada added that standard road, big convention centres and other required infrastructure would be built within 2020 and more historic places that were used during the unification of Nepal would be recognised and converted into tourist spots.
“Various tourist centric areas, including adventure, agriculture, rural, river, religious, sports and health will be developed as one. Mountain trekking routes linking Darchula of Sudur Paschim to Taplejung will be created,” said Minister Khatiwada.
Minister Khatiwada added that the Rara area would be promoted as a prime national tourist destination.
“Different spots of Mahabharat era will be converted into famous relaxing spot and more religious areas will be discovered,” he added.
Minister Khatiwada said that the government would help all willing sectors develop strong infrastructures like installing cable cars in high mountainous regions to develop tourist region in the country.


Protective policy to safeguard domestic industries: Finance Minister

Kathmandu, May 30: Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada has said that the difference in the customs duty of some readymade goods and raw materials would not trouble the consumers but help maintain the competition. Budget has been allocated in some areas considering the need to look at competition as well as consumers' right.

Speaking at a press meet held here Thursday, a day after tabling the budget for fiscal year 2019/20 at the parliament, Finance Minister Dr Khatiwada said the new policy has been adopted to promote and expand near-self-reliant industries and production.

On the occasion, defending the allocation of funds for the local partnership and infrastructure development programme, Dr Khatiwada said the people's representatives could not be deprived of budget as they contest elections linking with development. It may be noted that the government has allocated Rs. 60 million for the programme that will be implemented under the leadership of the Member of Parliament concerned. He however stressed on monitoring in order to ensure that the budget that goes to the constituencies are utilized.

He also expressed the confidence that the allocation of budget with a priority on physical infrastructure, energy, agriculture and tourism would help realize the goal of prosperity of the Nepali people.

Rs 141 B allocated for reconstruction

By Binu Shrestha

Kathmandu, May 30: Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada in the budget of fiscal year 2019/20 has allocated Rs. 141 billion for the reconstruction sector to complete the construction of the private housings in the areas hit by the 2015 earthquake. 
The government has allocated Rs. 58.73 billion for the reconstruction of the private housings. Construction work is expected to complete in the coming fiscal year. 
He said the government would identify the left out genuine beneficiaries and provide them house grants. 
The Dharahara reconstruction project which started this year is expected to complete with in two years. It had allocated Rs. 1 billion for the Dharahara project.
The government has provisioned necessary budget to complete the reconstruction of the heritages damaged by the earthquake within two years. 
Necessary budget has been allocated for the protection of endangered language, religions and culture, Finance Minister Khatiwada said. 
The government has also allocated necessary budget for building infrastructure required to develop the existing Ethnic Museum in Kirtipur of Kathmandu as a National Cultural Museum that properly reflects Nepali customs, language, culture and traditions. 
Museums of similar nature will be merged to transform them into a national museum, he said. 
The government will give emphasis for the development of literature, art, and music, he said. 
Night time heritage walk will be operated in the Kathmandu Valley to observe the authentic tradition, culture and museum, he said. 
The government has allocated budget for the completion of construction work in the Pashupati area and Lumbini area. 
It allocated Rs. 1 billion to continue the construction works of the master plan of Lumbini and Rs. 350 million for the Pashupati area. 
The government will manage necessary things to develop greater Lumbini connecting Tilaurakot, Ramgram, Devadaha and Lumbini. 
It will allocate necessary budget to prepare master plan to develop religious sites like Devaghat, Pathivara, Janakpurdham, Ruru, Birat area, Braha area, Khaptad area, Karebihar, Halesi and Gaurishankar with other sites, he said. 
To promote and preserve traditional skill and art of the indigenous, marginalised and Dalit communities, the government has also allocated budget.