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Govt to present federal budget today

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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

Nepal, Bangladesh sign MoU on energy cooperation

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KATHMANDU — Nepal and Bangladesh have signed a memorandum of understanding for power sector cooperation for intensifying the bilateral engagements for power sector development.

Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun and his Bangladeshi counterpart Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid have signed the agreement amid a function here in Kathmandu on Friday.

Nepal has identified Bangladesh as a prospective market for hydroelectricity, which is a clean and renewable source of energy.

Nepal then had started talking with Bangladesh on bilateral energy cooperation since the power trade agreement (PTA) was signed with India in 2014.

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Nepal and Bangladesh, after the ‘SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity)’ among the SAARC member states in November 2014, have seen the prospects of bilateral power cooperation.

But, to execute power trade and power cooperation between the two nations, Nepal and Bangladesh need to hold talks with India as there is power trade between Nepal and India, and also Bangladesh and India.

Bangladesh will require around 34,000 megawatts of power by 2030 to sustain the high economic growth of above seven per cent.

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