Blueprint For Change


Policies of the government are the guiding principles that govern the state interventions in various sectors of the country whereas programmes are the set of activities to be carried out to implement those policies. Policies and programmes are mostly designed to achieve the pre-determined objectives of the state and address the contemporary socio-economic problems. It provides a clear direction to the major macroeconomic policies -- fiscal policy and the monetary policy. As per the tradition, President Ram Chandra Paudel on Friday unveiled the policy and the programmes of the government for the fiscal year 2023/24 in a joint session of the federal parliament. Lawmakers will deliberate on the document for a few days in the parliament and Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat will unveil the fiscal budget of government for the next fiscal year on May 29 based on the policies and programmes. 

Through the policies and programmes, which are introduced after the recent elections that provide a clear verdict for the change, the government has made attempts to address the desire of the people towards change. The government has focussed on addressing major economic challenges faced by the country and issues related to good governance, socio-economic transformation, fiscal efficiency, and administrative reforms. 

The government has introduced measures to cut its expenditure and direct the major chunk of budget in transformative and national pride projects to enhance the fiscal efficiency. It is said that budget will be allocated only for projects that have completed all the stages of project preparation. Harmonisation of plan and budget formulation and implementation of all three tiers of the government, fiscal transfer based on need, ability and resource adequacy are some other policies of the government introduced for the fiscal efficiency. 

The policies and programmes have focused on strict control of revenue leakage, policy to utilise idle fund of sub-national levels and receiving remittance through formal channels to increase revenue mobilisation and liquidity in the financial market. Promotion of domestic products and industries, operation of some closed industries, establishment of chemical fertiliser industry, special programmes to boost agricultural products in cooperation with provincial and local levels are some programmes brought to increase domestic production and import substitution. Structural changes for the expansion and development of capital market, allowing non-resident Nepalis' investment in the capital market, provision of green bond and infrastructure bond to attract foreign capital are some measures that the government has introduced to encourage investments in the country. 

Activation of National Vigilance Centre for implementing anti-corruption campaign and policy of zero tolerance against corruption, community school improvement programme, youth with government programme, completion of transitional justice within two years, programme to build senior citizen home, promotion of electric vehicles, providing up to 50 units of electricity free of cost are other notable provisions included in the policies and programmes of the government for the next fiscal year. 

The policies and the programmes of the government have tried to address almost all economic and contemporary development problems. But implantation side is questionable, mostly due to the sluggish revenue mobilisation and the lack of project execution capability of the government agencies. Whether these policy and programmes furnish desirable output will depend on how the government includes these programmes in the fiscal budget and how they will be executed. Considering the resource constraints, the government should concentrate its budget in efficient sectors and boost domestic production by taking the private sector into its confidence. 

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