Policy and programme 2023/24: Here are govt’s top priorities for next fiscal year

KATHMANDU: President Ram Chandra Paudel, on behalf of the government of Nepal, on Friday presented the annual policy and programme for the next fiscal year 2023/24.

The president, like in the past years, spelt out dozens of promises in the form of the government’s policy and programme.

Some of the announcements such as letting migrant workers vote look ambitious whereas many announcements such as restoring old factories look repeated from previous years.

Following the same annual policy and programme, the government will table the budget plan for the next fiscal year on May 29.

Here are some of the key promises made by the president today.

1. Co-ops and microfinance institutions are subject to regulation
The government has declared that it will improve and strengthen the regulation of microfinance organizations in response to reports of fraud at these businesses. Similarly, the government has prioritized increasing banking facilities.

The regulation of cooperatives will also become stricter in response to reports of fraud in order to attract public deposits.

2. International aid’s guiding principles
The government promises to make an effort to focus foreign aid on more significant development initiatives. Transformational projects and initiatives that will inspire pride in the country will be given top priority.

Foreign investment will also be promoted in productive and export-focused sectors.

3. Factory reopening
According to the president, the government will open up a number of long-closed factories in a variety of industries. Hetauda Kapada Udyog, Butwal Dhago Karkhana, and Gorakhkali Tyre Udyog are specifically mentioned as the priorities for restoration in the annual policy and program.

Similar to this, priority will be given to industries in which Nepal can become self-sufficient.

4. Branding of products made in Nepal
The government promises to make efforts to brand a number of Nepali goods in the international market in its annual policy and program for the upcoming fiscal year. The items will include drinking water from mountainous areas and lenses made by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.

5. Think about electric vehicles
In the upcoming fiscal year, the government will encourage the use of electric vehicles. Additionally, domestic production of such vehicles will be promoted. The purchase of electric vehicles by government agencies will be promoted.

However, the government has also stated that it will modernize the systems for distributing petroleum.

6. Fresh mountain peaks to scale
The government has made plans to allow climbing on more new mountain peaks. In a similar vein, Nepal will grow into a film hub as the government has prioritized film tourism.

7. Airport in Nijgah strategy
Despite the ongoing controversy, the government declares in its annual policy and program for the upcoming fiscal year that it will resume building the Nijgadh international airport. On public thoroughfares, a number of iconic bridges will be built.

8. Regulation of ridesharing
The government has declared that it will bring ride-sharing operations under the purview of the law. Although ride-sharing has become common in Nepali cities, there is currently no law governing it.

9. Moving squatters who lack land
The annual policy and program has stated that it will relocate landless squatters occupying riverbanks in the Kathmandu valley and other areas to other alternative places while conserving the land. Balen Shah, the mayor of Kathmandu, recently mentioned this as one of his top concerns.

10. Throughout the next two years, everyone will have access to electricity
Within the next two years, all domestic units in the nation will have access to electricity, according to the government. Poor households will receive a variety of facilities and subsidies to help them access electricity.

The government has also stated that it will promote the use of electricity for cooking. There will be no charge for electricity for households using up to 30 units during the winter and up to 50 units during the summer.

11. No campaign involving plastic
Despite making numerous announcements to outlaw the use of plastic bags, the government has repeatedly failed to carry them out. In spite of this, the annual policy and program for the new fiscal year reiterates the pledge.

The government has also declared that it will implement a number of programs and initiatives for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Three levels of government will collaborate for disaster management, according to the announcement.

12. Colleges and universities are being reorganized
According to the government’s annual policy and program, universities and colleges will be restructured through necessary mergers and divisions. As much as possible, universities from the same province will be combined under one.

13. Fusion of Radio Nepal and Nepal Television
In order to create a public broadcasting organization, the government has announced plans to merge two state-owned broadcasters, Nepal Television and Radio Nepal.

14. Migrant workers’ right to vote
The government’s annual policy and program makes the audacious announcement that it will give Nepali migrant workers abroad the right to vote. Stakeholders have long called for this, but no legislation has ever been introduced by the government.

15. High-ranking officials are the subject of a property investigation
The government has made the populist and ambitious announcement that it will begin an investigation into the property owned by former and current politicians and bureaucrats holding public office in recent years, amid praise that the government is seriously looking into the fake Bhutanese refugee scam.

16. Cricket fields improvement
The two cricket stadiums in Kathmandu’s Kirtipur and Mulpani will be upgraded to international standards within the next two years, according to the annual policy and program.

Fiscal Nepal |
Friday May 19, 2023, 08:32:18 PM |

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