Nepal Presents Rs 81900 Crore Post-Earthquake Budget

Nepal Presents Rs 81900 Crore Post-Earthquake Budget

A powerful earthquake on April 25 in Nepal killed nearly 9,000 people

Kathmandu: Nepal government today presented the budget for the fiscal year 2015-16, months after the massive earthquake that hit the Himalayan nation, with a focus on rehabilitation and reconstruction of the battered economy.

Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat presented the Rs 81900 crore budget at the Legislature Parliament, with hydroelectricity, tourism and agriculture being prioritized in the budget.

The government plans to create employment opportunities for those pushed to live under poverty line by the massive earthquake and other natural calamities, maximum use of internal resources, progress in economic and social index, effectively completing the reconstruction work by issuing reconstruction bonds, he said.

Mr Mahat emphasized that rehabilitation and reconstruction work will get top priority while making government expenditure.

A total of Rs 2600 crore and 20 crore has been allocated for the overall agricultural development in the country.

Rs 4200 crore and 45 crore has been allocated for electricity generation with the Finance Minister citing that industrial sector's development would not take place without energy generation.

Mr Mahat said that Rs 1200 crore has been allocated for power transmission line construction and Rs 500 crore in addition for promoting alternate energy sector.

The government has prioritized hydroelectricity, tourism and agriculture in the new budget, Mr Mahat informed.

Nepal's already weak economy was hit hard by the April 25 earthquake and a strong aftershock on May 12, with annual growth forecast falling to just three per cent, the lowest in eight years.

The powerful earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 23,000 people and damaged more than 500,000 buildings leaving hundreds of thousands of people jobless.