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Nepal prioritizes health sector in budget amid pandemic

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Kathmandu | May 28, 2020 10:41:50 PM IST
Government of Nepal on Thursday introduced budget with a ceiling of Nepali Rs 1,474 billion and has prioritized health sector of nation as COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip hold in the Himalayan Nation.

Budget for 2020-21, less by 3.8 per cent in comparison to the previous year, has allocated Nepali Rs 90.69 billion for the upcoming fiscal year as the focus has been laid on the fight against the pandemic. For the ongoing fiscal year of 2019-20, the government had allocated 68.78 billion rupees for the health sector of the nation.

Following constitutional deadline to bring budget on May 28 (15 of Jestha), Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada presented the budget addressing a joint meeting of Upper and Lower House.

Finance Minister Khatiwada attributed worldwide recession caused by the pandemic for contraction in the amount of budget thus introduced.

"The Corona Pandemic grappling the world has brought in humanitarian and economic crisis. The health crisis has laid impact from the series of production, trade and investment hinting contraction in the economies. Being intermingled with the world, Nepal's major economic sectors are also now facing serious impacts of it," finance minister of Nepal, Dr Khatiwada said.

The budget introduced on Thursday is lesser by Nepali Rs 58 billion in comparison to the previous fiscal year. Out of the total budget, the government aims to utilize Nepali Rs 948.94 billion as recurrent expenditure while Nepali Rs 352.91 billion and 172.79 billion has been earmarked for capital expenditure and financing provision.

Moreover, the government has set a revenue collection target of Nepali Rs 889.62 billion whereas it also has made plan to seek foreign grants and loans of Nepali Rs 60.52 billion and Nepali Rs 299.5 billion respectively. (ANI)

 
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