May 31, 2023
Finance Minister of Nepal Dr. Prakash Saran Mahat has announced that Pre Budget Statement will be prepared and presented by the end of Falgun (March 14-15) of the year in the parliament from coming fiscal year. Dr. Mahat announced it in the joint parliament session on May 29, 2023 while presenting budget speech for FY 2080-81 (2023-24). This is a step in the right direction for improving Nepal’s budget formulation practice and overall public finance management of the country.
As proposed in the budget speech, Government will present Principles & Priorities of Appropriation Bill to the parliament two and half months before tabling the executive budget on May end. Now it is presented mostly a week before the tabling of executive budget proposal in the parliament which wouldn’t provide sufficient time for discussion and feedbacks on budget priorities from parliamentarians and public. It used to be a mere formality in the name of pre-budget statement.
With this reform, Government aims to have ample discussion on the bill in parliament as well as collecting feedbacks enabling the preparation of better and factual budget proposal. It was announced as part of improving steps to meet the budget aims with improving budget process and making expenditures effective.
Freedom Forum welcomes this current initiative in fiscal and budgetary sector and hopes the proposed improvement steps get executed for better fiscal transparency and public participation. This provides us with joy as Freedom Forum advocated since long for timely pre-budget statement at least a month before executive budget proposal as per international standard. With this proposed step to improve budget process and enhancing the concept of participatory budget, Freedom Forum looks forward to work with ministries, parliamentarians and parliamentary committees and CSOs for improving budget formulation process, public finance management and fiscal discipline of Nepal.
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