Nepal Constituent Assembly passes advance expenditure bill

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Kathmandu, July 15 : The Nepal Constituent Assembly has passed the Advance Expenditure Bill that authorizes the Government to incur expenditures totaling Rs 73.54 billion in the new fiscal year that begins from July 16.

Nepal Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat had presented the advance expenditure bill, which will be replaced by a full-fledged budget to be presented by the new government later.

According to Mahat, the current fiscal year recorded 5.6 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the highest in the last seven years. The agriculture sector registered a 5.65 percent growth, while the non-agriculture sector registered a 5.57 percent growth.

The gross domestic saving increased to 11.5 percent, up from 9.7 percent last year. The government hopes that revenue generation by the end of this fiscal year would increase by 22 percent more than initial estimation.

Likewise, foreign assistance has substantially increased from Rs 37.2 billion in the last fiscal year to Rs 57.6 billion in the current fiscal year. The government debt, during this period, has decreased from Rs 329 billion to Rs. 324 billion.

Education will absorb the largest chunk of Rs 9.48 billion followed by Rs 4.70 billion for internal security and Rs 4.05 billion for infrastructure development under the Ministry of Physical Planning and Construction.

Following endorsement of the bill, the government will have the authority to impose taxes and collect revenue as per the arrangements made in the Finance Act 2007.

If revenue collected during the period remains insufficient to meet planned expenditures, the government will have the authority to mobilize overdrafts equivalent to five percent of the total revenue mobilized in the current fiscal year.

Mahat also expressed hope that the new Government will take into consideration the demand raised by the Government employees for salary increment.

Nepalnew quoted him as saying, the new government, possibly led by CPN (Maoist), will adjust the expenditure made during this period while tabling the full-fledged financial bill.

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