KATHMANDU, Oct 30: Saying that the lack of full budget has seriously hurt business activities and people´s development aspirations, the business community has decided to spearhead an ´aggressive campaign´ from Wednesday in a bid to exert pressure on the political parties to forge consensus for early announcement of the full-fledged budget.
“We will mobilize all sections of the society and would use all available ´tools´ to pressurize all the political parties, including those in the opposition, for the earliest announcement of full budget,” said Bhaskar Rajkarnikar, senior vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
The FNCCI decided to launch the pressure campaign after representatives from different business sectors such as manufacturing, trading, housing, banking and contractors, among others, expressed concerns over deepening adverse impacts of the lack of full-fledged budget in their businesses.
The FNCCI had convened the roundtable of the business representatives on Tuesday. “The meeting concluded that we should exert a severe pressure against the political parties, urging them not to politicize the budget,” said Rajkarnikar.
He told Republica that the meeting endorsed launching of series of pressure programs in favor of full-fledged budget. Under these programs, FNCCI officials said they would hold roundtable meetings with all sections of the society and lobby with the political leaders to end differences on full-fledged budget.
“We will launch media campaign and mobilize all the chambers and commodity associations to raise awareness among the people why budget is important not just for us (business people) but also to a layman in rural hinterlands,” said Rajkarnikar.
Fundamentally, FNCCI said it was not in favor or against any political party. “But lack of fiscal policy and annual fund allocations has hurt private sector operations and regular businesses. Hence, we could not remain quiet,” Rajkarnikar added.
Issuing a press release, FNCCI also urged the political leaders not to do politics on budget, which is the lifeline of economy.
As present one-third budget is going to be used up soon, the FNCCI cautioned failure of the government to come up with full-fledged budget could push the country into a fiscal vacuum. “If this happened, the country will head toward becoming a failed state,” FNCCI said in the release.
“Political settlement might take time. Taking fiscal operations into hostage for political bargaining will be a foolish thing to do,” the FNCCI has assessed, and urged all the leaders to immediately pave the way for the announcement of full budget.