Report By Prem Khanal
KATHMANDU, July 10 – In yet another blow to the embattled monarchy, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has removed the state allowance for the king and royal family in the budget he is slated to table in the interim parliament Thursday.
The budget will, however, arrange for the perks and allowances of over 700 royal palace staff and other essential expenses like maintenance and security. The government had this year allocated Rs 32.7 million as allowance for the king, queen, crown prince, crown princess and the queen mother.
Minister Mahat is proposing an annual budget of around Rs 170 billion and a 15 percent rise in government employees’ salaries, but there will be no major tax changes.
According to government sources, the upcoming budget will earmark over Rs 100 billion under the recurrent heading — mainly a regular expenditure — which is 13.6 percent higher than this year’s revised estimate. “Constituent Assembly poll and increase in government employees’ salary are the two major factors that swelled the recurrent expenditure,” said the official.
The budget is likely to allocate around Rs 4.5 billion for the CA poll (Rs 1.70 billion for the Election Commission and the remaining amount for the home ministry for arranging security), said the source. However, a major chunk of the CA poll budget will go for recruiting some 75,000 temporary police for a period of roughly three months. The Election Commission and the Home Ministry had demanded Rs seven billion for the poll.
In addition to adjustment into regular salary of a 10 percent dearness allowance for government employees announced last year, the budget will propose a 15 percent increment in their basic salary. “The adjustment plus increment in salary will add around Rs 4 billion to the state’s financial burden,” said the official.
Sector-wise, education will continue to be the largest absorber of budgetary resources. The government is planning to allocate some Rs 28 billion for the sector. Apart from financing increased salary for teachers, a major chunk of the education budget will go into recruiting 12,000 teachers this year, according to the source. The health sector is expected to get some Rs 11 billion next year.
The budget will also earmark some Rs 12 billion for the army, 11 billion for the police and over one billion for the Maoist combatants living in 24 cantonments.
The budget will allocate Rs 55 billion for capital expenditure for financing mainly development activities. The capital expenditure budget for next fiscal year will be almost 44 percent higher than the revised estimate this year.
Reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure and road construction will be the major focus of the budget and will absorb half the allocation.
A major project is on the cards to initiate a 1,200 km mid-hills highway connecting Ilam in the east to Baitadi in the west and opening up an alternate road linking the capital and the terai, said the source. Reversing past anti-subsidy policy, the government is also launching a major support program for shallow tube-wells in the terai region.
“On the whole, the budget will be slightly populist and ambitious on some fronts, particularly in enhancing expenditures in the rural sector in the areas of infrastructure, despite weak absorptive capacity of the local bodies,” the source said.
On the revenue front, the budget has a total revenue target of Rs 103 billion, almost 20 percent higher than the revised estimate this year. Of the total, the government is expecting to generate Rs 3.67 billion from divesting its 15 percent share in Nepal Telecom.
Likewise, the budget will target mobilization of over Rs 21 billion in internal loans and attempt to mobilize around Rs 45 billion through foreign loans and grants.
( Source:The Kathmandu Post, July 11,2007)
119 responses to “15pc pay hike for civil servants,King, royals to receive no allowance in Rs 170b budget”
And if the political parties fail, even without the king, there will be someone taking over anyway. Without the king, maybe the army will take over. But wait… why not get rid of the army as well? What if India takes over?
Is it not time yet to ask our leaders to perform instead? The bullshit about we choosing our own leaders in democracy can not sell anymore. It is one district and the party that selects a prime minister and it is not the whole nation.
B-It’s not a bad idea. But ideally the political parties should feel threatened by us the people. The problem with Monarchist threats is that they actually act upon those threats and then you get a nincompoop like KG and his astrology based rule…then what?
I like what B said- perpertual fear. It would work fine.
It is easier getting rid of the king than army or Koirala-ism or maoism. GPK is not choosen by the people if in era of frequent elections. One district nominates GPK as an MP and the party declares him as a pm. We the people do not have a say in who leads our country. This is not democracy. If by democracy you mean, we need to wait for the likes of GPK to die to even hope for a better leader, it is not going to work. I would rather support absolute maoism than this incompetent, ill intentioned and corrupt SPAism. We already have a long list of fools to replace GPK after he dies and GPK aint dying anytime soon. If the whole country voted for a PM, i am willing to support democracy but till then, it is going to be a family affair. You can make your pick, Shahs, Koiralas or Dahals.
Kirat, your statement was as follows:
“All those people who are supporting a ceremonial monarchy, how can you, with the recent history of monarchy in Nepal and it’s strong ties to the military, vouch that they will not become active? What safeguards are there?”
Could you please elaborate how do you foresee return of active monarchy to Nepal soon? Our ever-active media has not reported any such direct or indirect actions that suggest that palace is cooking up something. At least this blog would have raised a huge hue-and-cry.
I’m afraid our ever-active media covers mostly what is in line with the populist mood. Thank goodness we have alternative sites for news and views like this blog and others.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of one topic that the Nepali media just refuses to cover. Probably because all of the crack Nepali journalists are now working for Ian Martin and UNMIN.
Shaman-Just look at how KG turned from a ceremonial monarch to an active one some years ago. Hope that answers your question.
B-that’s just your frustration with the present GPK govt speaking. C’mon an absolute Maoists rule? That would be the worst nightmare for Nepal.
Like I said when time comes to cast our votes or lend our support avoid at all costs Maoists, Monarchists and if possible SPA. Maoists and Monarchists are the two extremes- a middle path is what we need to follow, it’s just that the SPA’s incompetence and corruption is blinding us to this.
What’s wrong if all go together with respecting each other without biasness ? This is what lacking in Nepal. If some one is bias to some one then definately the neutral or another one will react.
Someone needs to come up with a campaign to promote your own local area dynamic individual(s) to join the new parties registered for elections, and campaign on TV and FM and live by supporting these candidates and telling people that if they really want a new Nepal vote for these individuals not the royalists or the SPAM. Maybe we can also attract some of the younger guns from the current big parties to join the other parties as well. Vote for a new dynamic Nepal not the people responsible for the mess we are in.
That is too simplistic assumption because we cannot compare then and now.
The King could intervene at that time because he had some constitutional powers granted by the Constitution. The present Constitution (even if it is interim) does not provide that powers to the King. In fact, there is no mention of monarchy. No one knows the legal and constitutional status of the King at present.
From my perspective, the King becoming active is too far-fetched sequence. At this point of time, he has to abide by the deal brokered by India and the US. The screams of the political parties may be loud and their words may be brave, but in reality they have done nothing to do away with the monarchy.
catch22-that’s what I hope sincerely will happen. do you know that the Americans in the early nineties were so fed up with the Republicans and Democrats that Ross Perot, an independent, nearly won? That really shook up the GOP and the Democrats.
Shaman-you think the Monarchy if it has the army by it’s side and a little support from India/US will care for a piece of paper like the constitution? You got to be kidding me! The last constitution, it turned out, was not worth the paper it was written on.
I like the idea of getting ‘fresh’ new faces to come up with altoghether new ‘party’ as proposed by Catch-22. but, alas! like the protoganist of Catch-22–‘Yossarian,’ they will get eventually get sucked into the inevitable downward spiral of state machinery–corruption. just the matter of time those new faces will turn into putrid feces. but this is a method (democratic process) and there is a hope that it might just work, more importantly, there is a check and balance–ELECTION. Besides, I’ve never heard that anyone has ever elected the KING, even some dumb a** Shah king had to run to mountain top to get a kingdom. (what a farce of a history book, i wonder who wrote it.) It’s improbable that he could beat all the indigenious ‘Magars’. Couldn’t they have come up with a better story. More so, what happened to the common sense of all the Nepalis, they took all the propoganda for facts. But’s it’s irrelevent now, or is it?
Who is talking about absolute monarchy here?
In that case, why even ‘ceromonial’ one? Show me the relevency even for ceromonial monarchy, other than it makes you feel GOOD, and we can have King and his lovely family pictures in the ‘come-visit-nepal’ tourist books.
And don’t give me that crap, Monarchy is already irrelevent, but still be adamant while debating that Monarchy is the only opposing force to SPAM and the maoists? Do you see the CIRCULAR ‘O’ logic of your argument.
How can monarchy be IRRELEVENT and only opposing FORCE at the same time? This can only be the case when nepal army allegiance is to PALACE but nobody else. This fortifies my claim of not even a compromising room for a Ceromonial Monarchy, absolutely not.
If you argue, army to be independent and disassociated with any groups, as the name suggest Nepal Army not Royal Nepal Army, you should not have problem, cutting that last vestige of loyality–umbilical cord between Army and the Palace.
I am ready to concede for ‘Ceromonial Monarchy’ only under one condition. Let’s have that historic RACE once again, who ever runs to ‘NARAHITI’ first gets the kingdom, keeping to true spirit of ‘participatory democracy.’ This time around not just Shah and Magar run, it will be Tamang, Gurung, Rais, Shrestha, Kami, Damai, Sharam etc. etc. well you got my point.
If you are for ceromonial monarchy as you have said, you should not have a problem, who becomes a king as long as there is Monarchy. Or do you?
Let’s set the date for the RACE.
harke ko baa,
If the country is falling apart then what is the use of talking about peace and democracy in Nepal ? The dictate of the syndicate spaM leaders has become useless by failing at this point of juntction. The regional or communual parties should come out to end this crisis with a model of unity. The relevance of spaM and its rule is being questioned by the people due to an uncertain future of Nepal. The madhesi uprising should be cashed in a positive way to unite the nation. Similarly, the rights of other ethnic groups should be considered as an important matter in this changing context of Nepal. The different ethnic groups should be included in the government without dispute. Their maximum participation in writing a new constitution can be a permanent solution to open the door for the unity of Nepal. For this, the regional parties can play an important role by working together. As it is said united we stand divided we fall.
I guess you just did waste your time on me Harke ko Ba.
Giving the example of the Brits does not necessarily mean that I am rooting for whatever the Brits do should be applied in Nepal. If they can have it so can we was all that I meant.
And yeah as for your threat Mr internet warrior aka harke ko ba…….. just because you think otherwise does not stop me from posting my thoughts either.
Harke ko ba…you are basically mai hanuman merai chak rato mailey lanka jalako shithead.
As much as I sincerely feel military dictature the decisions must be taken by voters.
Now they are ‘mending’as ususually, maoists are taking advantage as usually, nothing really much happens, further destruction.
This money can go to prisons rebuild prisons, nice clean water food and jobs in prisons. Or even schools .
Point is the polirization thing so far is boring. I f u want people to take an interest in so called democracy and free opinions, make it interesting. Interesting is not just budget interesting is what is in it for me ordinary non fighter?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for intelligent replies.
It should not be like this that entire families are separated and feel they have to live in Australia, or even Pokhara. Entic groups are all over chitwan and monkey zoos. Dr. KC
no need so much intelligence.
Country remains divided, electoral process fine.
thanks to the war and water problems, people are sincerely tired of fighting when all are dead it will be peace.
Think…? Human rights, animal rights royalties and so on.
Why not sponsor America, they are so much useful.
Then who needs money.
Jobs we need.
aaah! i don’t have stomach for this back and forth nonsense, OK. OK. no more of my sh**, i will leave you guys to your bliss, whatever that may be. Shoot me, if i ever come back, i mean it.
happy debating, knock yourself out!!!
In peru where they have killed indians since I was born they have dead by terrorist and dead by army actually more by terrorist, maybe we interview the corpses which was nicer.