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Rs. 3037 trillion needed for SDGs
By Modnath Dhakal
Kathmandu, June 22: The National Planning Commission (NPC) has estimated an investment of Rs. 30,375 billion for the programmes and projects to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2016-2030.
The apex planning body in the country has divided the 15 years of SDGs implementation in four parts and made separate annual investment estimations.
For the first part, 2016-19, a total of Rs. 4,220 billion is estimated. Likewise, Rs. 4,677 billion is projected for 2020-22, Rs. 6,108 billion for 2023-25, and Rs. 15,325 billion for 2026-30 period.
According to the NPC, annual average budget for the SDGs period is Rs. 2,025 billion.
The average expenditure for the first part from 2016 to 2019 is about 33 per cent of the current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
The economy of the country in 2018/19 is estimated to be at Rs. 3,464 billion and is expected to achieve 8.5 per cent growth in the next fiscal year 2019/20.
Nepal aims at graduating from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2022 and be a middle-income country by 2030. The government has given priority to the development of tourism and infrastructure like roads, railways and energy, and modernisation of agriculture to achieve the higher growth targets in the years to come.
Joint Secretary of the NPC Khom Raj Koirala said that the planning body had made separate estimation for the public, private, cooperative, non-government and household sector investment required for the SDGs.
The public sector needs to invest about Rs. 1,111.3 billion per annum for the SDG implementation period while the private sector needs to mobilise resources worth Rs. 739 billion, cooperatives and non-government organisations (NGOs) Rs. 86.3 billion, and household sector Rs. 88 billion annually.
However, there is a resource gap of Rs. 585 billion per annum, about 12 per cent as per the size of current GDP.
"Therefore, we need to create effective public and private partnership to implement the programmes effectively and meet the resource gaps," said Koirala.
According to him, the government will create partnership with the provinces and local bodies, private sector, cooperatives, community, civil society and NGOs, International Development Partners (IDPs), and regional cooperation organisations and will promote south-south cooperation.
The NPC has identified the wise distribution and transfer of resources, prioritisation of resource mobilisation and utilisation, public private and cooperatives partnership, and internalisation and ownership at all level as the major challenges in executing the SDGs investment.
Secretary at the NPC Laxman Aryal said that the macroeconomic policy of the country should be changed in order to increase the domestic public finance, use the fiscal space such as domestic borrowing and the ODA.
He also pointed towards the need of formalising the informal economy.
"Our informal economy is still large, and policies are needed to make it formal. If we failed to formalise the informal economy, our financing model may not work effectively," he said.
He said that the ODA should be diverted to the productive areas, however, the country's operational capacity and modality might affect its effective realisation.
He also said that the FDI needed to be raised to 5 per cent of the GDP from current about 1 per cent.
Vice Chairman of the NPC Prof. Dr. Pushpa Raj Kandel said that the SDGs were devised to lift the living standards of people.