Nepal got its latest FY 2077-078 fiscal budget (Budget 2020/2021) on May 28th, 2020 by the Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada (full text of the Nepal Fiscal Budget here) that focuses on health sector – scaling to respond the COVID-19 impact on economy and citizen’s daily livelihoods. And like other year’s budget, it looks like government has much announced in the field of Science and Technology but not to our surprise most is the repetitive lines of the previous budget announcements. Let’s find science and technology coverage of Nepal’s fiscal budget 2077-078 while exploring government’s priorities for 2020 and 2021 on Science, Information, Communication, Technologies and other younger infrastructure for the country.
Nepal’s Fiscal Budget 2077/78 indicators & highlights
|Budget size (this year)||Rs 1.474 trillion|
|Budget size (last year FY 2019/20)||Rs 1.53 trillion|
|Current expenditure||Rs 948.94 billion|
|Capital expenditure||Rs 352.91 billion|
|Financing (financial management)||Rs 172.79 billion|
|Tax revenue||Rs 889.62 billion|
|Foreign grant||Rs 60.52 billion|
|Foreign Debt||Rs 299.50 billion|
|Internal Debt (Domestic borrowing)||Rs 225 billion|
|Economic Growth rate of Nepal||2.3%|
|Inflation rate of Nepal||6.5%|
|Per capita income||Rs 1,085|
Science & Technologies @ Budget 2077/78
In the fiscal year FY 2077/2078 (2020-21), the total allocated budget for education, science and technology is Rs 1 kharba 71 arba 71 crore. The budget in the FY 2019/20 was Rs 1 kharba 63 arba 76 crore.
The basic science and technologies indicator covered by this year’s fiscal budget are listed below (not in order of importance or priority) – most of these key indicators and points are not new to us as they are basically repitated from the last year’s budget announcement which were never implemented.
- Arrangements will be made to bring all types of payments within Nepal into operation by bringing the National Payment Gateway into operation from the next Fiscal Year (this point is just as last year’s one.)
- Cashless transactions will be encouraged by reducing the cost of electronic transactions. Arrangement will be made to pay public service fee for electricity, drinking water, education and health through electronic means.
- New farming technologies to be introduced to facilitate information on weather, seed sowing, market price made available to farmers thru a dedicated mobile app to increase agricultural production plus market risk.
- Secondary trading market of Nepal Stock Exchange made entirely electronic.
- Automated single point of service center for the process of company registration (renewal or cancellation) thru decentralized IT technologies
- Provision for agricultural credits to farmers
- Land information management system (MIS) implemented for IT based house and land registration
- Cooperatives encourage to conduct cashless transactions
- Branchless mobile and internet banking services made available to expand financial services
- Promotion of virtual classroom and online education to address Covid issues
- Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology(MBUST) promoted as specialized university of science and tech.
- Arrangements made to issue driver’s license electronically. Vehicle location will be monitored using modern technology. Embossed number plates will be distributed to make the registration system of international standard.
- Current broadband policy revised and Fiber to the home (FTTH) to be extended nationwide within next 2 years
- National Knowledge Park in Khumaltar of Lalitpur established to promote information technology in the country.
- The use of information technology in public service delivery will be increased.
- Cyber Forensic Labs will be upgraded to identify cyber security risks, mitigation and emergency cyber security to make them faster and more reliable. Feasibility study will be done for setting up a separate cyber security center.
- Infrastructure and equipment will be provided for the establishment of security printing.
- Arrangements will be made to operate Nepal’s own satellite on the basis of business potential.
- Provision for vital event registration (which already existed since long) – details of 10 million more citizens will be updated in the electronic system in the coming Fiscal Year to distribute National Identity Card with biometric identity and unique number of all Nepalis.
- In order to make all types of income and government expenditure payment transparent, the system of doing business through electronic system will be expanded.
- Telecommunication service fee on the maintenance fee of up to four percent waived while providing fixed broadband service by the internet service provider.
- Arrangements will be made for small taxpayers doing business up to Rs. 2 million annually to submit income statement and tax through other electronic means including mobile app and also to submit income statement while paying tax through bank.
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