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Federal budgets keep ignoring economic prospects of Karnali province: Puri Chandra Devkota

This year’s federal budget has tried to cover many sectors compared to the previous ones. The budget speech often makes big promises, includes catchphrases and promises changes in the economic sector. While doing so, the budget also includes provisions that cannot be implemented. If we look closely, implementation status of previous budgets reveal that there has always been a wide divergence between the promises and actual performance.

Promises made in the budget speech have nothing to do with implementation. In our context, consecutive governments have failed to maintain the track and the country’s economy is paying the price of inaction by the government. 

The budget has included some positive initiatives for the ongoing development of Jumla including expansion of Jumla airport, building a corridor for locally grown Marsi rice in Sinja, Tila, and Hima, and plan to commercialize herbs of Jumla. If implemented effectively, these activities may add some hope in the district. 

Needless to say that Jumla is a rural district. It lacks big industries. Setting up big industries may not be feasible at this point of time. What type of activities can ignite economic activities in such circumstances? Policymakers must prioritize small and medium enterprises to create a sustainable economic ecosystem in the district. Market linkage should be ensured for locally produced stuff such as paddy, beans, and apples among others. In order to promote these products and enhance tourism activities, smooth road access must be prioritized. This is not the case even in this year’s budget. 

Sharing a bitter experience, the country has always neglected Karnali while preparing the budget. The government should have given special priority to Karnali as it is one of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.

Puri Chandra Devkota is the President of Jumla Chamber of Commerce & Industry