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Health, education investments prioritized by the Nepal Government

Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari

Kathmandu, May 16 (UiTV/IANS) - The Nepal government has announced that health, education, economic recovery and employment will be key priority for the budget for next fiscal year 2020-21.

After a prolonged focus on physical infrastructure, the government was focusing on social sectors such as health and education after the COVID-19 pandemic showed the inadequacy of health infrastructure in Nepal, reports Xinhua news agency.

By presenting Policies and Programmes of the government for the next fiscal year at the joint session of Parliament - House of Representatives and National Assembly on Friday, President Bidya Devi Bhandari said that the necessary infrastructure would be developed in the areas of health and education to deliver international standards services in these areas.

The Policies and Programmes indicates what types of annual budget would be presented by the government for the next fiscal year 2020-21 which will begin in mid-July.

The government will present the budget for next fiscal year on May 29.

In the health sector, it plans to increase the number of health institutes, increase their capacity and develop infrastructure and human resources. Improving quality of education from public educational institutes, focus on technical education and expansion of online education are priorities in the education sector, according to the Policies and the Programmes.

Realizing that many Nepali migrant workers who are employed in Gulf nations, Malaysia and India could return home due to the impact of the COVID-19 on the economies of host countries, creating employment opportunities for them would be another focus of the Nepali government.

According to Nepal's Ministry of Labour and Social Security, more than 400,000 migrant workers are expected to return home due to the impact of the COVID-19 in the host countries.

The Nepali government has also planned to introduce a recovery plan of the tourism sector badly affected by the pandemic, the Policies and Programmes says.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Statistics said late last month that Nepal's economy could grow by just 2.27 per cent, the lowest growth projection in the last five years, against the target of 8.5 per cent in the current fiscal year.

In the last three fiscal years, Nepal has achieved growth over 6 per cent.