Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Govt prioritizes four sectors to achieve developing country status by 2022

KATHMANDU, June 4: The National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex policy making body of the government, has prioritized four sectors, including infrastructure and agriculture, in the upcoming three-year plan with the target of upgrading the country from the status of Least Development Country (LDC) to Developing Country by 2022.

The preceding three-year plan had set the target of achieving developing country status by 2030. Officials of the NPC said draft of the concept paper prepared for the next three fiscal years has identified those four sectors as crucial for economic development and for upgrading to the developing country status.

Gopi Mainali, joint secretary at the NPC, said the concept paper envisages prioritizing programs focused on development of infrastructure, agriculture and economic sectors; human resource development and effective use of public resources.

“We have prioritized those sectors that can play significant role in upgrade Nepal´s status to developing country from LDC by 2022,” Mainali told Republica on Monday. “We have reduced the focus areas to four from seven identified in the earlier three-year plan so that we can concentrate effectively on them.”

Under the infrastructure sector, the concept paper, which is under discussion with stakeholders, has emphasized on developing energy, roads, and communications. Similarly, focus under the agriculture and economic sectors will be on farm commercialization, tourism, industries and trade.
Likewise under the human resource development program proposed in the draft, the government aims enhance skill and capacity of available manpower to increase competitiveness.

At a time when the government agencies have been failing to utilize the allocated budget, the concept paper envisages making officials responsible in implementation of the designed programs.

“Though we have not specified the number of jobs that we will generate during the plan period, we have estimated that we should generate at least 150,000 jobs per year,” said Mainali.

According to conservative estimate, around 415,000 youths enter the labor markets every year. Of them, around 300,000 leave for greener pastures abroad.

“We can´t enhance effective utilization of budget until and unless we set up institutional capacity and effective mechanism to ensure better performance in program implementation side. So, the concept paper has attempted to make concerned official more responsible,” added Mainali.
He further added that the four priority sectors will get as much as 80-90 percent of the total budget to be allocated in capital expenditure in the budget for the next fiscal year.

In the earlier three-year plan that ends in this fiscal year, the government had identified seven priority areas, including infrastructure, agriculture, education, good governance, environment and national priority projects.

Yuba Raj Bhusal, member secretary of NPC, said Nepal has achieved the target in economic indicators and inching closer to achieve the target in social indictors as specified by Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015. “We will start programs of the concept paper from the next budget,” he added.

Officials said Nepal needs to make more progress on achieving target of Gross National Product (GNP).
The concept paper will be endorsed by the meeting of National Development Council once it is finalized after holding national level discussion.

Published on 2013-06-04 00:00:01

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