Government Commits to Addressing Cooperative Issues with New Initiatives

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KATHMANDU, May 15: The government has pledged to take necessary initiatives to address issues of the banking sector as well as financial institutes, microfinance, and cooperatives.

Through its policies and programmes for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25, the government has announced to take measures in the segment at a time when a large number of victims of malpractices in microfinance and cooperatives have been struggling to get back their money. President Ram Chandra Paudel presented the pre-budget component before a joint sitting of the Federal Parliament on Tuesday.

“The government will come up with new legal provisions at the policy level to address the issues plaguing banks, finances, and cooperatives,” said the President.

To safeguard the interest of the depositors and investors in cooperatives, the government has reiterated to set up a separate specialized government entity for strict supervision and regulation of the sector. It has been over one and a half decades that the government has been putting forth its plan of forming the second-tier institution in this regard, which has not been materialized so far.

Establishing cooperative deposits and credit guarantee funds, cooperatives credit information center and a tribunal to recover the credits of the sector are under the government’s announced plans. “It will be made mandatory for cooperatives to abide by the government-generated information system on cooperatives and poverty related management,” the President said.

The government has also proposed the possibility of scrapping or postponing infrastructure projects that are deemed unnecessary. Announcing that an adequate budget will be allocated to projects with tangible outcomes and timely completion, the government has introduced the option of discontinuing unproductive projects in its policy and program.

Additionally, the government has announced plans that development projects will be monitored and evaluated using information technology. Also, a proposal has been made to review procurement laws, along with plans to enhance the institutional capacity of the government’s procurement unit.

While promising to construct 10 reservoirs in the Chure region, the government has repeated its commitment to replace imported wood by local resources. In the budget for the current fiscal year and previous years too, the government had announced similar programs to achieve proper utilization of the country’s forest resource. “Forest will be protected, managed and promoted in coordinations of all three tiers of governments,” reads the Policy and Program for the current fiscal year. “Through proper management of the foreign resources, the country will be made self-reliant in wood.”

The government has announced to commence a campaign named ‘Decade of Investment in Agriculture’ starting from the next fiscal year. Similarly, the government has put forth its plan to establish interconnectivity with international service providers to facilitate online payment abroad in foreign currencies. It has also planned to provide electric stoves free of cost to the poor families.

According to President Paudel, the exploration of petroleum products in Dailekh district will be taken to conclusion in the next fiscal year. He said the government will prioritize magnesite phosphorus and iron, in particular, for extraction.

Taking forward the Budhigandaki Hydropower Project and Nalgad Reservoir Project are also among the government-prioritized programs for the next fiscal year. As of now, the land compensation of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydropower Project has been finalized. Likewise, the detailed project report of 417 MW Nalgad Hydropower Project has been done.

According to the government records, the electrification facility has reached 98 percent of the total population. The installed capacity of the country has reached 3,940 MW. The government has targeted to increase per capita consumption of electricity to 450 kWh from existing 380 kWh in the next fiscal year.

 

Source: Republica