KATHMANDU: As the government is working to prepare the budget for the next fiscal year, chairperson of the Interim Election Council (IEC) Khil Raj Regmi has directed the Minister for Finance Shankar Prasad Koirala to control foreign currency smuggling, tax evasion and the development of public institutions.
Speaking at an interaction at the Finance Ministry on Sunday Regmi urged that the local investment should be given more priority to develop the country and its security management.
He asserted that the upcoming budget should focus on uplifting the living standards of the poor people.
Regmi also pledged that the government will move ahead with the process of passing the Second Amendment to the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2008 and the Proceeds of Crime Bill.
After finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi and Nepal Rastra Bank governor Yubaraj Khatiwada pressed hard for the passage of the two anti-money laundering bills warning that the country could otherwise be blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Regmi said that the government would work for their enactment.
The two bills have been sent to the Cabinet for its endorsement, and they are being studied by its bill committee. After the Cabinet okays the bills, they will be sent to the President for his endorsement after which they will become law. As the next plenary of the FATF is scheduled to start on June 17 in Oslo, the two ordinances should be passed this week to permit the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) to include Nepal’s progress in its assessment report.
On the occasion, Minister for Finance Shankar Prasad Koirala said that the direction and suggestions given by the Chariperson of the IEC would be important while making the budget.
Koirala further made it clear that the incumbent government’s three main objectives of Constituent Assembly election, economic growth and good governance should be given more priority while bringing the budget. He underscored that the full budget of 2070/71 would be presented at the earliest.