Finance Minister of the Government of Nepal, Yubaraj Khatiwada has revealed a budget of Rs 1.47 trillion for the 2077/78 fiscal year. The budget plans to meet the 7% economic growth target. Interestingly, this year’s budget has promised a lot to adopt and use information technology to provide various services to citizens: from telemedicine to online education, from national identity to passport and electronic visa and from the National Payment Gateway to satellite.
We have already entered the digital age. In this era, information technology has become an essential and enabling tool in all sectors. Investing in IT and adopting it would certainly help the economy. Therefore, we must welcome the government’s initiative to promote the use of information technology.
In this article, we will present 13 budget conclusions on information technology and digital payments. Let’s take a detailed look at what the next fiscal year and the future of our nation is waiting for.
Expanding digital banking
In the budget statement for this fiscal year, Minister Khatiwada particularly mentioned the electronic banking system.
The government intended to expand the branchless banking sector, mobile banking and Internet banking to remote areas and to provide banking and financial services through electronic methods.
National Payment Gateway to come into operation
The government plans to launch the long-awaited National Payment Gateway in this fiscal year. The national payment gateway should reduce the cost of electronic transactions and encourage cashless transactions. The government will introduce a digital payment system for electricity, water, health, education and various other public services. With the national payment gateway in place, digital payment is expected to have a huge boost in the country.
Online Tax Payment
Small businesses that transact up to Rs 2 million a year can pay taxes online through the mobile app and various electronic methods, depending on budget status.
Digitizing the Capital Market
Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd. (NEPSE) secondary market transactions will be fully digitized starting this fiscal year.
Many villages do not yet have access to reliable health facilities. To fill this gap, the government has allocated a budget for the telemedicine service system. Numerous specialized hospitals such as the Gangalal National Heart Center, Paropakar Maternity and Women ‘s Hospital, Human Transplant Center Center, Bir Hospital, Kanti Children’s Hospital, etc. They will provide a telemedicine service in remote areas that do not have adequate access to the health service.
Digital education and remote learning
Currently, educational institutions are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget for this year has announced to hold courses for new academic sessions through the Internet, television and radio.
Driving license through online method
The government plans to introduce a system for issuing a driver’s license through the online method. People can apply for an online driving license.
Digital Nepal Framework to be implemented
The government is ready to implement the Digital Nepal Framework and connect the country to the world economy with the use of digital technology and take advantage of economic opportunities.
Similarly, policies relating to information technology, telecommunications and broadband must be reviewed. Likewise, Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) broadband Internet will be expanded nationwide within the next two years. The 4G service will be expanded nationally in this same fiscal year.
National Knowledge Park to be established
Through the budget statement, the government has revealed to establish National Knowledge Park at Khumaltar, Lalitpur to promote a knowledge-based economy in the nation.
Security Printing Press and Nepal’s own Satellite
The government is set to build infrastructure and make arrangements for required machinery for the security printing press. Also, the government aims to operate its own satellite on the basis of business potential.
Online registration, bio-metric identification, and National ID
The government aims to make arrangements within the next three years for registration of personal incidents through online methods. Records of 1 crore Nepalis are to be updated on the electronic system for National Identity Card with biometric identification and unique number.
Land records system to go online
The government is planning to make use of technology to modernize all land revenue offices. Information technology-based land and property registration systems are to be implemented in all the districts. Malpot services across the nation are set to be digitized. The use of technology will make the service delivery of the offices simple, quick, and transparent.
Electronic Passport and Electronic Visa
Electronic passports are going to be implemented in Nepal from this fiscal year. Likewise, foreign nationals will be provided an arrival Visa through an online system.
Interested to know what’s more in this year’s budget? You can read the full budget statement from the website of the Ministry of Finance, here.