The first federal budget is here for the Fiscal year 2075/2076 or 2018/2019. The total budget included for this Fiscal year is 13 Kharab 15 Arab which is 1.31 trillion Rupees. There are different sectors in which Finance Minister has allocated funds. In this post, we are only concerned with the Information and communication sector. The most remarkable point in the budget 2075/76 is to provide free broadband internet in all schools.
The information and communication itself relate to different other sectors like Education, Transportation, Agriculture, Entertainment and Other sectors. Now, we would like to those points mentioned in the budget.
- Information tech-friendly education. Use of Rural Telecommunication development fund (RTDF) to provide free high-speed broadband internet in all Schools.
- Digital Agriculture Market. Use of mobile to provide Agricultural product market to the people through a platform.
- Smart Toilet/restrooms. Now we not know how smart the public toilet would be. We now only think of the smartness in terms of automatic water flush and digital payments.
- Smart Metering, Smart Grid. In the energy sector, Government is known to use the smart metering and Smart Grid in the electricity distribution. READ here for what NEA is planning.
- Smart City: It is no doubt that this term would be there. But we need to have the clear vision on how to achieve the Smart city concept. We assume they will use the allocated fund for the development of Infrastructure necessary for the digitization.
- Access to Information. Government expresses their commitment to increase the access to any sort of information to the people.
- VAT refund for mobile phones now stopped. Wih this budget, government cancels the VAT refund to the mobile phone importers. Previously they used to give back 40 percent of the VAT applied. We can expect the price of mobile phones to go high in Nepal.
- Unification of Radio Nepal and Nepal TV as a single entity for broadcast.
- Usage of box office and electronic ticketing in the Cinema halls.
- Use of Embossed number plates in vehicles and Smart card for licenses, identity. READ here for What is Embossed number plate.
- The government will now provide all their services through digital means.
- Use of RTDF for optical fiber expansion: The RTDF optical fiber project was recently scrapped by the Government for the little or no progress. READ here for more. Now, it is again mentioned here that they will use RTDF for the expansion of optical fiber in all local levels. Read here for more information about the details of the budget.
Apart from the information and communication sectors, there are two most exciting points mentioned in the budget. Those two points are the implementation of performance-based appraisal or Salary for the government employees and the tourism year in 2020, Visit Nepal 2020.