New Nepal budget highlights Covid control, economic recovery

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Kathmandu, May 30 | Nepal Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel has presented a budget of 1.64 trillion NPR ($14 billion) for the 2021-22 fiscal year that starts in mid-July, with focus on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic and recovering the economy.

It is the second year in a row that the health sector has got special focus in the budget for the new fiscal year as the country is facing a devastating impact of a second wave that hit the country in early April, reports Xinhua news agency.

Nepal has reported a total of 553,422 Covid-19 cases with the death toll standing at 7,163.

Even though the number of new infections has come down in the last few days, health facilities in the country have been pushed to their limit.

Paudel presented the annual budget in a televised address on Saturday as it could not be done at the House of Representatives, which was dissolved by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on May 22 for fresh elections.

For the government, the priorities are saving lives from the pandemic, recovering the economy damaged in the epidemic, promoting social security and utilising public and private resources to boost the productive sector, the Minister said.

The fund for the Ministry of Health and Population is increased by 35 per cent to 122.77 billion NPR. By allocating $230 million for the procurement of vaccines against Covid, the government is committed to bringing vaccines from manufacturers and countries and inoculating people free of charge, Paudel said.

Nepal has so far administered first dose of vaccines to 2.11 million people, while another 654,851 people have got both jabs, according to the Ministry of Health and Population.

As to relief and recovery for the people and enterprises hurt in the pandemic, Paudel announced that no bill would be charged on drinking water for use up to 20,000 liters per month.

The exemption of electricity bills up to certain units for households is implemented only during the lockdown period, which runs through June 3 in the Kathmandu Valley for now.

The continuation of a rehabilitation fund established last year to provide relief to small and medium-sized enterprises and the tourism sector is also suggested in the budget, which includes tax exemptions to enterprises affected by the pandemic.

In addition, the budget is prioritizing job creation through the development of skills for the youth.

Through the budget, the Nepal government has set a growth of 6.5 per cent for the next fiscal year, hoping a vaccination drive could help economic recovery.

As to the 4 per cent growth projected last month for the current fiscal year, Paudel acknowledged that it would be challenging now to achieve the goal due to the devastating impact of the pandemic.

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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