Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
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Agriculture gets first priority in budget: Finance Minister



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By Our Correspondent
Rukum, Mar. 22: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the budget for the coming fiscal year 2022/23 will be prepared by giving priority to the agriculture sector.
Speaking at a press conference organised by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ), Rukum, on Monday, Minister Sharma said that the government has started preparation of budget giving priority to agriculture first.

"We believe that the agricultural sector will help a lot in import substitution and increasing exports. Agriculture should be linked to industry. Then employment will be created and poverty will be reduced," he said.

Stating that the share of exports in the total foreign trade has exceeded 10 per cent by mid-February, he said that the target is to increase the share of exports by 10 per cent every year from next fiscal year.
He said that the budget would also focus on developing infrastructure to reduce the distance of rural areas from major cities.

"We plan to reduce the distance from one city to another. For example, we are planning to maintain a road distance of two hours from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Similar plans will be taken elsewhere," he said. "We are paying special attention to improving the rural economy. It will be ensured that the products of rural areas get easy market access."
He said that the people-based development model would also be implemented through the budget.

"We will move ahead with the infrastructure construction plan so that the people can experience development," he said. He said that the government would equally focus on quality construction.
He said that the increase in the price chain of petroleum, gold and silver, edible oil, plastic, iron and steel commodities, and transportation fare in the international market is putting pressure on price rise in Nepal as well.

However, he said there was no need to panic as the annual target set for inflation was under the targeted limit.
He assured that the economy would gradually recover as the balance of payments deficit was gradually declining and the liquidity crunch was likely to be resolved within a few days.
Stating that up to Rs. 500 million is going out daily due to illegal digital transactions, he said that all mechanisms have been mobilised to stop such activities.

On the occasion, Finance Minister Sharma said that the government has announced the date of local elections and national politics has become the focus of the elections.
He said that the Ministry of Finance has already managed the necessary resources for the election under the direction of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.