Kathmandu, May 25
The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) has proposed a budget of about Rs.1.57 billion to carry out various programmes for the promotion of trade sector in the next fiscal year.
However, the Ministry of Finance had fixed a ceiling of Rs. 1.41 billion to the annual programmes of the MoCS.
Surendra Thapa, under secretary at the MoCS, said that the ministry is working on different programmmes focusing the trade promotion in order to reduce the alarming trade deficit of the country.
He said, "We have challenges to implement the progarmmes for enhancing trade due to limited budget ceiling."
He said that the government had allocated only around 0.16 per cent of the total budget to the MoCS which was very low for the trade promotion that had a vital role in the development of the country.
He said that the government should allocate at least 2 per cent of its total budget to the MoCS if it really wants to promote trade and minimize the widening trade deficit.
According to him, the trade deficit of the country will widen further if the government and the concerned authority did not pay attention for the promotion of export trade by enhancing production of the country.
"We could enhance the export trade of the country if the government allocated sufficient budget every year," Thapa told The Rising Nepal.
Despite the limited budget, the Ministry has proposed around of Rs. 600 million for Nepal Trade Integration Strategic (NTIS) to promote, market and export 19 potential products.
"Under NTIS programmes, the Ministry promotes and markets as well as increases the production of the 19 potential products in the 10 potential international markets," he said.
The Ministry has proposed around Rs.120 million for transporting the salt and food items to the remote districts and Rs. 480 million to transport foods, he said, adding that the Ministry has been transporting salt to 22 districts and foods to 30 districts.
Thapa informed that they have proposed Rs. 170 million for the Trade Basket Programmes for the next fiscal year. Under this programmes, the Ministry would promote agriculture, industrial goods and services in both domestic and foreign markets.
He said, "We have proposed around Rs. 300 million as cash incentives to the exporters who export their products in the third countries."
The government has launched the cash incentives progarmems for the last two years in order to promote export trade in the third countries.
Similarly, the Ministry has proposed around Rs. 60 million for monitoring the market.
He said, "We will continuously monitor the market throughout the year in order to control the black marketing and artificial price hikes and maintain the quality foods.
The MoCS in its programmes and policies for the next fiscal year 2069/70 has also proposed a few measures to address the looming fuel crisis in the country.
He said that the ministry has forwarded a few other proposals to address the petroleum crisis beyond the budget ceiling.
They have proposed for a price stability fund of around Rs. 10 billion for supplying fuels when the NOC had to supply fuels facing loss.
He further said that they have proposed to adopt the auto-price mechanism to ensure smooth supply of fuel in the country.