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Economy

Govt to present federal budget today

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government is presenting the country’s first federal budget in the Parliament on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry source, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada will present the annual budget on joint session of parliament today which will transfer around Rs 400 billion to sub-national governments.

While the National Planning Commission (NPC) has set a ceiling of around Rs1.2 trillion, Finance Ministry sources said the budget will be as big as Rs1.45 trillion.

Provinces and local bodies will get around Rs 53.82 billion in revenue each from revenue-sharing fund, as 30 per cent of value added tax and domestic excise go to sub-national governments.

The federal budget of 2018-19 has set a target of revenue growth of 30 per cent for next fiscal compared to 19.8 per cent growth in this fiscal.

The government will mobilise around Rs 350 billion from foreign loan and grant, raise around Rs 160 billion in domestic debt based on forecast of seven per cent economic growth in next fiscal, according to Ministry officials.

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Sources said that Finance Minister Khatiwada has changed the tax rates in the budget and would encourage maximum value addition from the imports in Nepali economy.

Finance Minister Khatiwada is aslo set to introduce Madan Bhandari Highway as a new priority project of the federal government and will allocate needful resources to complete the priority projects announced through the government’s policies and programs.

Finance Minister Khatiwada,while presenting the principles and priorities of the budget, had said that small projects that fall under the jurisdiction of the sub-national governments will be transferred and the piecemeal programmes being run by the centre will be scrapped.

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Economy

Business community demands slash in interest rate

Pratigya Waiju

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BIRATNAGAR— The industrialists and traders in Biratnagar have asked the government to immediately reduce the high interest rate charged by the bank and financial institutions (BFIs) from the borrowers.

They argued that the interest rate should be around seven percent for the production-based industries and up to nine percent for the trading firms.

At a programme jointly organised by Industry Association Morang and Trade Association Morang on Thursday, the business leaders drew attention of the government to that end adding that job creation for the labour force of 500,000 was not likely only from the industry and trade sectors.

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Stressing the need for slashing the interest rate, they also argued the central bank should realise the reality that no bank was running out of loss. The industrialists and businesspersons said that industries and business should flourish to reduce the trade deficit, strengthen the economy and create more job opportunities.

Industrialists Bhim Ghimire, Pawan Kumar Sharda, Sushen Pyakurel, Moti Dugad and others said that bank’s interest rate should be low to increase the domestic investment and lure the foreign investment.

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