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Archive for November 9th, 2008

CPN(M)’s Plans for a New Nepal

Posted by n3wday on November 9, 2008

summer_flowersThis article was published on Neil’s Nepal. Original title: “Maoist’s New Nepal: Industrial Capitalism in the Name of Socialism.”

by Bishnu Pathak and Neil Horning

The reactions to the budget from the nation’s policymakers and critics are often guided by four motives. Those who made the budget in the past regard it as imbalanced and untenable and heap praise on their own budget. Others who suffered defeat in the CA polls from the Maoists are scared of the perpetual marginalization that stares them in the face and wish to see their Maoist rivals failing and faltering on all fronts and to stand thus vindicated. Another group of intellectuals, those affiliated to political parties other than the Maoist, appear inordinately critical in expounding their techno-statistical expertise on the budget and dub it as overtly ambitious and populist. The Maoists and the intellectual professionals close to them, however, claim the budget as a historical document, regarding it to be achievable, pro-poor, and growth-oriented, and blame their critics as feudal-minded. The donors, in general, remain neutral, at present, and the people are waiting for the budget to deliver in the field. For, that is where its ultimate test will lie.

“Ambition is imperative for launching Nepal into a new era” stated Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Finance Minister, as he presented a total Rs. 236.15 billion to the Constituent Assembly (CA) for the Fiscal Year 2008/09 on September 19, 2008; 45% up from the last budget. Recurrent expenditure, estimated at Rs. 128.51 billion, comprises more than half 54.41% of the total allocation, with capital expenditure at Rs. 91.31 billion or 38.66%. For repayment of loans, Rs.16.19 billion (6.85%) is allocated. This estimated expenditure will be higher than the total allocation of last year by 39.7% and 44.5 % more than the revised expenditure. Recurrent expenditure will be increased by 40.6 % and capital expenditure by 64.5 % compared to the revised expenditure. Principal payments will be decreased by 1% against the revised expenditure. Out of the total expenditure, Rs.111.82 billion (47.38%) is allocated for general administration and Rs. 124.19 billion (52.62%) for development programs. Of the estimated financing for the current year, Rs. 129.21 billion (54.72%) will be borne by current sources of revenue. Out of the total foreign assistance of Rs. 65.79 billion (27,86%), Rs. 47.93 billion (72.85%) shall be borne by foreign grants, and the remaining Rs. 18.7 billion (27.15) by foreign loans. There shall be a net budget deficit of Rs. 41.11 billion (17.4%) that will be covered by mobilizing both sources.

The first Maoist-led Government of Nepal clearly put the people at the center of their strategy to institutionalize the federal democratic republic, arrive at a logical conclusion to the peace process, accelerate the process of socio-economic transformation, achieve higher economic growth for geographical and regional balance, create social justice and employment opportunities, and provide relief to the people to lay the foundation of a self-reliant and independent economy, optimally relying on national capital and indigenous resources.

Priority policies and programs

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