Business & Economy

Nepal faces financial stalemate as budget stuck in parliament

Kathmandu, Sep 14 (EFE).- Nepal is at the risk of facing a financial deadlock as its annual budget has failed to get approved by the parliament on Tuesday due to the main opposition, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), obstructing proceedings.

On Friday, finance minister Janardan Sharma had presented a revised budget worth nearly $14 billion for the ongoing Nepali fiscal year 2021-22, beginning mid-July.

The erstwhile CPN-UML government led by KP Sharma Oli had introduced the original budget on May 29 through an ordinance.

However, the government was ousted from power after the Supreme Court on Jul. 12 ordered the appointment of Sher Bahadur Deuba, head of the Nepali Congress, as the president.

The new government tabled the replacement budget bill on Jul. 18, and it has a deadline of 60 days for approval that is expiring on Wednesday, Gopal Nath Yogi, a secretary at the House of Representatives, told EFE.

House speaker Agni Sapkota on Tuesday allowed the finance minister to present the bill, resorting to using marshals to contain the obstruction from the opposition.

“As the replacement bill was not passed on time, the government expenditure will be stopped from Wednesday,” Sharma told a press meet on Tuesday, immediately after the parliament sitting.

As per the law, the bill to replace the budget ordinance must be passed by the parliament within 60 days of the parliament functioning.

The house has now been adjourned till September 19.

However, the minister insisted that taxes would be raised even if expenditure was stopped due to the budget not being passed in time.

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