First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: India has increased its pledged annual grant to Nepal by a notable 29.41 percent for India’s next fiscal year that will begin on April 1.
Announcing the Indian government’s union budget for the fiscal year 2023/24 on Wednesday, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government has increased the grant amount to INR 5.50 billion (Rs 8.8 billion) to Nepal. Last year, India had initially pledged Rs 12 billion in grants for 2022-23, which however was revised down to Rs 6.8 billion. In 2021-22, India provided Rs 7.13 billion in grants to Nepal.
In 2021/22 too, the southern neighbor had allocated INR 9.92 billion (Rs 15.87 billion) under the heading. However, the actual amount that Nepal received over the period was largely revised.
The grant pledged to Nepal is the second highest among the South Asian countries, after Bhutan. Bhutan has received pledges of Rs 38.4 billion (Rs 26.11 billion in grants and Rs 12.28 billion in loans).
India has doubled its pledged amount to Sri Lanka to Rs 2.4 billion citing the country suffering from financial crisis. The commitment amount to Bangladesh has also been increased, while the annual grant commitment for Afghanistan has dropped.
The Indian government has allocated expenditure worth INR 45 trillion (USD 549.14 billion) for the next fiscal year, up from revised INR 41.87 trillion for the current fiscal year. The capital expenditure has been increased by 33 percent to INR 10 trillion.
The southern neighbor has targeted to achieve an economic growth rate of Rs 6-6.8 percent in the next fiscal year, slightly lower than seven percent projected for the current fiscal year.
Under the specific programs, Finance Minister Sitharaman listed seven priorities of the Union Budget named ‘Saptarishi.’ The priorities will incorporate Inclusive Development, reaching the Last Mile, Infrastructure and Investment, Unleashing the Potential, Green Growth, Youth Power and the financial sector. According to Sitharaman, these programs complement each other, according to the Indian media.
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