Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday unveiled the government's annual policy and program for the fiscal year 2073-2074 (2016-2017) focusing on speedy post-quake reconstruction and economic development.
Presenting the government's policy and programs at Legislature Parliament, President Bhandari said that the next fiscal year will be a year of constitution implementation and rule of law, noting that the much-awaited elections of local bodies will be held in mid-December this year.
"This will help ensure democratic exercise at people's level, rule of law and leadership of people's representatives in local development ending the condition of absence of people's representatives at local bodies," the President said.
The government in its annual program has prioritized post-quake reconstruction of all damaged infrastructures within five years through the National Reconstruction Authority.
In addition to the Rs 200,000 (about 2,000 U.S. dollars) announced to the each family whose house was destroyed in the quake as housing reconstruction fund, the government has also decided to provide soft loan of Rs 300,000 (about 3,000 U.S. dollars) to each of the displaced families without collateral. Similarly, heritage sites, schools and hospitals will be rebuilt with priority.
The government has also introduced "One House, One Employment Program" in earthquake affected areas which will be gradually expanded to other sectors. It has claimed that 50,000 youths will be self-employed every year through the Youth Self-Employment Program.
Giving special attention to economic prosperity, the government has declared the upcoming year as " the year of departure towards prosperity". Stating that the next five years will be the period of development for this Least Developed Country, the government has aimed to move towards prosperity in the next 10 years.
Considering the economic loss from the earthquake and border blockade, the government has decided to move toward self-reliance-oriented, multi-interdependent economic system to meet the challenges of excessive dependence on one country in trade and investment.
"Now the government will move ahead toward self-reliance in essential goods and services while diversifying trade relations and transactions. The country will move towards building sustainable, independent, self-reliant and just economy," the president announced.
ENERGY AND AGRICULTURE
The policy and program has highlighted self-reliance in energy sector through the production of hydropower and use of renewable sources. For this, it has planned to produce 10,000 megawatt of electricity within the next 10 years.
The government has prioritized commercialization of agriculture and mobilization of cooperatives with special focus on irrigation projects. "The farmers will be gradually brought to the social security net by building social security fund with their own participation," President Bhandari said.
In line with the agreements signed recently with the Chinese government, the government has focused on the operation of transit facility, expansion of electric transmission line, construction and up-gradation of roads connecting border point Rasuwagadi and Kimathanka.
President Bhandari said "Tatopani customs point will be brought in operation along with the up-gradation of the Araniko Highway".
The government has further said construction work of the Gautam Buddha International Airport and Pokhara Regional International Airport being built under the Chinese aid will be expedited and completed within a specified time.
Meanwhile, a 10-year National Strategic Tourism Plan will be implemented by the government in the coming fiscal year to attract tourists from neighboring countries. The government has planned to observe the year 2018 as "Nepal Visit Year" with the goal of bringing in 1 million tourists.