Ex-Finance Ministers, NPC Vice-Chairperson suggest govt not to unveil full budget

NL Today

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Kathmandu: Former Finance Ministers and Vice-Chairpersons of the National Planning Commission (NPC) have urged the government not to bring the entire budget for the next fiscal year.

Five former Finance Ministers and nine former NPC Vice-Chairpersons on Thursday drew the government’s attention through separate press statements.

“As the government has turned caretaker and cases against House dissolution are sub judice at the Supreme Court, the government should not bring a full-fledged budget for the next fiscal year,” former Finance Ministers— Prakash Chandra Lohani, Ram Sharan Mahat, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Barsaman Pun, and Surendra Pandey— said in the joint statement.

They added that global practices show the governments coming up with a partial budget when there is no Parliament.

“Even if the government has to bring the budget through ordinance, it has to allocate budget for regular functioning,” the statement further reads.

There are speculations that the government will bring ‘a populist budget’ focusing on the midterm elections after the Parliament was dissolved.

Likewise, former Vice-Chairpersons said that though Constitution states that the annual budget should be presented on Jestha 15 (May 29), the government should not bring the budget as the House was dissolved when it was supposed to discuss the budget.

“When there is no Parliament, it is not mandatory to unveil the budget on the stipulated date,” reads the statement of Former Vice-Chairperson—Prithivi Raj Legal, Dr Jagdish Chandra Pokharel, Dr Shankar Sharma, Dr Pitamber Sharma, Dr Dinesh Chandra Devkota, Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, Dr Govinda Pokharel, and Dr Min Bahadur Shrestha.

“If the government brings full budget focusing on populist programs, increases debt and alters tax rates, it will push the economy to instability,” the statement reads.