First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Finance Minister BishnuPoudel has started preparing to bring a relief package to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy. The minister is preparing to bring a relief package through the existing budget and not from a supplementary budget.
Minister Poudel is holding consultations with all parties to find ways to improve the economy. Some economists have suggested the minister to bring a supplementary budget.
They have urged Poudel to bring a supplementary budget citing that it would be difficult to improve the country’ economy through the regular budget announced by former finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada on May 29 due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Minister Poudel’s Press Advisor, Bhuvan KC, said that the minister will not bring a supplementary budget at the moment and is preparing to bring a relief program through the existing budget. “We are preparing to bring a relief program through the current fiscal budget to bridge the gap in resources,” KC said.
As per KC, though there has been a change in the finance minister, the prime minister was likely to disagree with a supplementary budget due to which the issue of a supplementary budget has already been closed. Finance Minister Poudel will amend some priorities through a mid-term review of the budget.
The private sector had, in fact, demanded a stimulus package in the budget brought by Khatiwada back in May.
Although sales of two-wheelers have been good in the last three months, demand has not increased substantially in other sectors. There has been some demand in other sectors but that is due to the festive season.
As per some experts, the steps that the government has taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have not been effective. Health experts have warned that infections could rise further and the government might be compelled to impose another lockdown.
Meanwhile, Minister Poudel has said that he will make sure that resources are utilized in an optimum manner to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy. He also mentioned that he will be holding discussions with representatives of various sectors before introducing the relief package.
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