Budget sparks mixed views


Kathmandu, May 30 . Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, has said the tourism sector has the potentiality of offering jobs to some 200,000 people in a year.

Speaking at an interaction organised by the Reporters’ Club here today, the Minister was of the view of increasing investment in infrastructure development in tourism sector for its promotion and attract tourists. Investment in tourism sector would cause multi-dimensional effects.

According to him, the government has targets of constructing an international airport at Bhairahawa within a year, the Nijgadh Airport by the next three years and transforming it into an international standard, constructing regional airports in Biratnagar and Janakpur and welcoming two million tourists into the country by the year 2020 AD.

Also speaking on the occasion, Nepali Congress leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said most of the targets set by the incumbent government are controversial, adding that the announcement to double the per capita income by the next five years and increase the economic growth rate to an eight percent were unmatched in the context of Nepal. He insisted on the need of spending 43 percent of the GDP for investment.

Finance Minister Shanker Prasad Koirala spoke of the possibility of attaining the economic growth target as agriculture, tourism, energy and infrastructure development were the sectors of priorities of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“It is not good to allocate minimum budget to province and local governments in the very first year of the enforcement of federalism,” he said, adding that it could trigger conflict between the province, local governments and the center.

Federal Socialist Forum Nepal’s leader Hari Narayan Rauniyar echoed the possibility of complexity in the implementation of budget. Budget failed to address the spirit of federalism Rastriya Janata Party Nepal’s leader Raj Kishore Yadav termed the decision to allocate Rs 40 million to every lawmaker through a lengthy process was wrong.