People's Review Weekly

Blame Game


Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat claims that the economy of the country is not as bad as explained by others. He defended the economy, saying that it is in the course of improvemen­t and will soon take a proper course. He blamed the previous finance ministers, saying that they spent the government coffer without viewing the future impact on the national treasury. The present reality is that the government is unable to meet the revenue target, due to which, it is unable to pay the salaries of civil servicemen and the dues of many constructi­on projects. In the first two months of the current fiscal year also, the government was unable to meet the targeted revenue. One of the reasons is the flourishin­g smuggling of goods under political protection. There is no strong mechanism to control smuggling. Besides, there is no zeal for controllin­g smuggling, as we saw quintals of gold being smuggled even from the Tribhuvan Internatio­nal Airport. In today’s world of technology, it is not a big problem to scan the containers carrying goods but the ill-intentione­d political leaders, who have developed a network with the smugglers, have closed their eyes to the smuggling business. If regulated the NepalIndia open border, to some extent, the smuggling of goods could be curbed. Hopes are there as the tourism market is improving and remittance revenue is encouragin­g. Meanwhile, the government expenditur­e on the non-productive sector has increased due to the unbearable load of the federal structures. The government is unable to manage the fund for capital investment or say developmen­t sector expenditur­e. The existing practice is that the government is spending the remittance revenue on importing luxury goods to meet the revenue target. If it would invest the remittance revenue in the infrastruc­tural developmen­t sector, the nation could move towards the path of self-reliance. Unfortunat­ely, Nepal has become a consumer country as the government started to enjoy from the customs revenue received through the imports of luxury goods. If such a trend continues, the country cannot become a self-relined economy. Moreover, the government must cut down the unproducti­ve sector expenditur­e for which, the federal structure should be scrapped and should increase investment in infrastruc­tural developmen­t as much as possible. Otherwise, it will be a gone case.

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