The Himalayan Times, Himalayan News Service, 18th April 2017, Kathmandu
With less than one-and-a-half months left for the government to unveil the annual budget for the fiscal year 2017-18, the Ministry of Industry (MoI) today announced its priorities in the new budget, which are aimed at economic prosperity of the country.
The priority list maintained by MoI for the upcoming budget vows to introduce different programmes and projects through the budget, with a target to generate ample job opportunities in industrial sector of the country in next one decade. By creating more jobs in the industrial sector, MoI has set an ambitious target to create a situation where no Nepali youth will have to seek job opportunities abroad after one decade.
Similarly, promotion of investment-friendly environment in the country is the next agenda of MoI in the 2017-18 budget. Micro-enterprise development, development of industrial infrastructure and inclusive economic prosperity are the third, fourth and fifth major agenda of MoI in the new budget.
Unveiling the priority areas of MoI in the new budget, Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi said that the government will focus on these five areas in the next fiscal year.
“MoI will bring various new mega programmes and projects under these priority areas. Such programmes and projects will attract foreign investment and help to turn the investment pledges that Nepal received through Nepal Investment Summit into a reality,” Joshi said.
By promoting entrepreneurship in the country and assuring business-friendly environment to investors, MoI has targeted to bring at least $10 billion foreign investment in the country in 2017-18, out of the total $13.52 billion FDI pledged during the Nepal Investment Summit in March first week. Similarly, MoI has set a target to draw $25 billion foreign investment in Nepal within next one decade.
Similarly, in a bid to create investment-friendly environment in the country, MoI plans to strictly implement one-window system for industrial works, implement online services and digital signatures, reform existing policies and develop sector-wise project banks.
The MoI also unveiled its plan to promote youth and women entrepreneurs of the country in the micro-enterprise sector by launching skill-oriented trainings, awareness programmes and providing subsidies in technology enhancement and marketing tools to encourage such entrepreneurs.
Under its plan to develop industrial infrastructure, MoI aims to concentrate on Special Economic Zones (SEZs), access roads to cement and mines and mineral industries, extension of transmission lines in SEZs, among others, in fiscal 2017-18.
As stated by the Constitution, the government will have to bring the new annual budget within May 29 every year.