Reform Agendas for the upcoming Pre-Budget Discussion

Comment

Economy

The government of Nepal must introduce the following reform agendas in the upcoming pre-budget discussion to achieve the desired economic growth:

Cross-cutting

Starting a Business:

  • Devolve business registration functions to local levels and a functioning one-window for registration
  • Develop a universal database and use compatible softwares at different government institutions to enable real-time inter-department coordination
  • Allowing incorporation of a one-man company based on a one-page AoA; building a model document for more-than-one-man private companies; and allowing nominating agents to handle the entire incorporation process in case of a public company.
  • Make a legal provision to complete industry registration within 36 hours and complete company incorporation within seven days of having filed application

Access to finance:

  • Promote registries at local level to operationalize Secured Transactions Act in a bottom-up approach

 

Sector-wise ideas

Tourism

  • Open up new mountain peaks for mountaineering and develop new trekking routes, especially in the mid and far west
  • Identify strategic investors who could work on development of infrastructure and marketing on PPP basis
  • Enhance service delivery and management of airports by engaging the private sector in running of airports

Hydropower:

  • Work out a clear benefit sharing framework between the developers, the affected people and the government
  • Operationalise the electricity regulatory commission to make the energy sector more competitive
  • A regulatory oversight and facilitative mechanism to enable licensed hydropower projects to speed up speedup their constructions and start commercial operation.

Agriculture:

  • Formulate a contract farming Act to enable commercial agriculture and agriculture modernization

Trade:

  • Identify highest import sectors and give incentives to create local businesses within these sectors
  • Enable electronic data interchange between Indian and Nepali customs authorities
  • Automatize border processes like inspection to enhance efficiency

Education

  • Identify and test alternate models of running public education system in Nepal, for eg. funding students instead of schools

 

Proposed Immediate Activities

  • Identification of the priority projects for foreign investment by June 2019.
  • Road-show across all provinces and their local businesses and relevant stakeholders to deliberate over economic opportunities and investment prospects along these opportunities.
  • Investment summit and pledging support all investors (domestic and foreign) through necessary investment facilitation programs on acquiring permits, functionalising the one-window systems at regulatory agencies, developing hard infrastructures and promoting industrial estates.
  • In collaboration with the World Bank, hosting a Doing Business Country Assessment for the World Bank team to help identify low-hanging policy reform areas that will help Nepal climb 50 spots in the annual Ease of Doing Business Index.
  • Single commercial code for doing business in Nepal. This will also create one single law with regards to doing business. It will not only be easy to understand but will also make businesses easier to access legal help. Some countries where commericial codes are applicable are USA, Ethiopia, Belgium.
  • Implement a Start-up Nepal program to promote small and medium scale entrepreneurship

 

Ankshita Chaudhary

About Ankshita Chaudhary

Ankshita is working as a Research and Communications Assistant at Samriddhi Foundation.

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