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Nepal Budget FY 2078/79: Allocation For Technology, Innovation, FinTech Sector

25th July 2021
"Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel announced the budget for the fiscal year 2078/79 on Saturday, of total Rs 16,47,57,00,000"

Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel announced the budget for the fiscal year 2078/79 on Saturday, of total Rs 16,47,57,00,000.

From the amount 41.2% has been allocated for regular expenditure while 22.7% has been allocated for capital/development expenditure, 12.6% is allocated for financial management and the remaining 23.5% has been allocated for state governments and local level governments. 

The budget has made remarkable space for the development of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial activities since they are proven to be the main drivers of the economy in most countries.

 This article focuses on how the budget allocation has been emphasized on digitization and technological development through the new fiscal policy. 

Science and Technology

The government is planning to form the “Science, Technology and Innovation Council” to foster scientific research and innovation. In the coming year, Madan Bhandari Science and Technology University would be brought into operation

A total of Rs 180.4 billion has been allocated for the collective development of education, science, and technology.

Communication and Information Technology

Following are the plans included in the budget for the development in the field of community and information technology.

  • 4G services to be accessible in every 753 local levels

  • The National Cyber Security Reporting Portal to be made effective

  • Almost all the governmental services would be integrated within “Nagarik App” to ease in delivery of the governmental services

  • “Mobile Device Management System” will operational from Shrawan 1 to detect and control mobile theft and its misuse in criminal activities

  • Any one using mobile, landline, and internet of Nepal Telecom network would get a 22% share of the company. This would be applicable for those who remain users of NTC till Poush, 2078.

FinTech

All the revenue collection by the government and payments of Social Security Contribution and other transfer payments will be channeled through banking services. The National Payment Switch would be operated from the next year to bring interoperability among the payment cards, retail payment, QR code payment, and other digital payment systems. The remittance will be collected via the banking system and the customers who place their remittance inflow in the fixed deposit account are entitled to additional one percent interest for the same. Those who pay through debit card, credit card, QR code, or any digital system would get instant 10% cashback on the VAT amount they pay during the purchase of goods and services.

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BUDGET 2078/79 HIGHLIGHTS | INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

Compiled by : Rahul Shrestha Rahul Shrestha

Budget 2078/79 highlights | Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

24th July 2021
"The Government of Nepal has included many ICT, telecom sector strategies for IT growth going into the next fiscal year 2078/2079."

The Government of Nepal has included many ICT, telecom sector strategies for IT growth going into the next fiscal year 78/79.

budget-ICT 2021-22

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Following are all the ICT related plans and policies for the next fiscal year 2078/79 announced in the budget speech of the government.

  • Health Service via Tele-Medicine

Nepal Government has taken the initiative of providing health care via telemedicine. That means the government will use electronic means to provide health care to the public, especially to those living in rural areas.

  • Laptops At 1% Interest

The finance minister has announced that students will be able to buy a new laptop (Rs 80,000) at just 1% of the interest rate. As the Nepal government wants to leap forward in digital scope, access to devices and broadband internet would be key. However, this policy is meant for only those students who have enrolled in government institutions.

  • Plans For Digital Maps And Smart Krishi

The finance minister also laid out plans to further enhance Smart Krishi. The government will refine the NELIS service. It helps people look up their property on the web and also print digital maps. The finance minister announced that the government will digitize most of its land-related processes in the next fiscal year. All the land-related works at District Land Revenue Offices or Malpot will be shifted online. This means the public will be able to register and transfer land ownership. Beginning with the next fiscal year, land measurement, mapping, field book, plot registration will be done electronically via the MeroKitaa program countrywide. Similarly, the government will provide information related to agriculture via mobile apps.

  • Bill Book Renewal Online

Heading into the next fiscal year, the government has planned to shift bill book renewal online. This will rid the vehicle owners of inconvenient and long queues to the concerned transport offices.

  • Nagarik App Integration

The government will integrate all of its services into the popular Nagarik app in installments. The government launched the full version of the mobile app back on May 3 and will bring in many government services within its interface.

  • GPS Tracking For Tourists

To ensure the safety of visiting tourists, the government will develop a GPS tracking system next fiscal year.This will benefit tourists who visit Nepal and visit the remote areas or come for mountaineering or adventure sports purposes.

  • Vehicle Tracking

To keep updated with vehicles’ movement, the government will launch a program for vehicle tracking. There will also be a provision of online tickets for public transport. The government will also provide radio frequency equipped embossed number plates for vehicles as well as electronic licenses to track their movement or location. This will help as an anti-theft protocol as well as pinning their location in case of accidents.

  • Portal For E-Learning

The government will solidify its e-learning strategy in the next fiscal year. There will be an arrangement for a Sikai portal to encourage remote or online learning. This will benefit those who are deprived of education due to lack of school infrastructure or in case of emergency such as the ongoing pandemic. However, it will also work in tandem with regular schools and help further grow IT skills among the pupils.

  • eCommerce By Postal Service

Coming fiscal year, the government will utilize the postal service for eCommerce delivery. The government will set up a team to explore its possibility and derive its conclusions according to the report.

  • Madan Bhandari Technical Univerisity

Hon. Finance Minister also announced that Madan Bhandari University of Science and Technology will begin its curriculum next fiscal year. The long-proposed university is located in Chitlang of Makawanpur district. He also revealed the plan that the government will establish one school for technical education in every ward.

  • VAT Benefits On QR Pay

From next fiscal year, you will receive a 10% VAT refund for the goods you purchase and pay via QR code. This policy will encourage online payment and bring digital habits among consumers.

  • National Payment Switch

According to the finance minister, the government will bring the long-awaited National Payment Switch into operation from the next fiscal year. The switch will integrate various online payment gateways and facilitate electronic transactions easier. The Finance Minister stated that National clearing House Ltd. is currently working on it and will introduce the Switch soon.

  • Digital Passport

The government will integrate a QR code into Passport from the next fiscal year. There will be a biometric feature to render its passport and visa proceedings advanced and digital.

  • Fiber Expansion

It was also announced that the government will lay optical fiber across the country in two years. The fiber across major highways as planned will install information highway for the enhanced and highly capacious transmission backbone network. Similarly, the internet cables in cities will be shifted underground to rid of the cables which have corrupted the look of cities as well as risked safety for people.

Broadband Internet Via RTDF

The government will continue its broadband net expansion in the next fiscal year utilizing the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund. The policy seeks to provide broadband fiber internet at every local level in the country for a high-speed reliable connection. 

  • Mobile Device Management System

The Finance Minister also made the announcement regarding the Mobile Device Management System. (MDMS). This system allows the authorities to control and enforce the government’s policies on smartphones and tablets. MDMS is a software that keeps a record of smartphones, tablets, and other network devices brought from official channels and blocks all others. The long-awaited project is aimed to curb the business of grey devices in the country.

Using MDMS, the government will disable the grey phones from Shrawan 1st onwards. The grey phone that enters Nepal through illegal channels has cost the government huge revenues every year and now it is toughening up the stance on it.

  • Free SIM Card For Students Above 16

To broaden communication and broadband access among the youth, the government will provide a SIM card each for those above 16.The government will distribute free sim cards after confirming the eligibility in the next fiscal year. The plan will benefit the fresh SEE passed-out students who will be enrolling into +12 (previously High School).

  • 4G Across The Country

 Within the next fiscal year, the government plans to expand the fourth-gen network across the country to every local level. 

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Compiled by : Rahul Shrestha Rahul Shrestha