KATHMANDU: Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) held an interaction on ‘Economy: The Way Forward’ in the capital, on Wednesday.
Speaking at the programme, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said the ministry was working to identify the problems being faced by the national economy. Concrete plans and programmes will be forwarded after identifying the problems, he added.
Minister Paudel said although Nepal has faced huge problems in the past, the economy had not shrunken to the extent we have today. “Nepal has already braved the difficulty during earthquake, and border blockade. We have no more effects of border blockade or earthquake, but the question arises how we reached this disappointing stage of economy.”
He said the reasons behind economic shrinkage are being studied. The problems are therefore being analysed closely. “I’m for the reliable and decisive solution of the problems,” Finance Minister vowed.
According to him, the present government is facing a worrying state of capital expenditure and revenue mobilisation. Now, government works to widen the tax net and make effective tax administration. The government is committed to maintaining fiscal discipline.
The Minister also urged the private sector to understand the problems being faced by the government.
Taking part in the interaction, former finance minister Yubraj Khatiwada commented that Nepal’s economy was prevented from crisis from time to time. “Nepal’s economy was successful to evade frequent crashes,” he viewed, adding that Nepali economy is like that of a plane unable to make a successful landing.
He suggested the government bring the economy to track along with balance in fiscal policy and monetary policy. “There is no point in rejoicing in the increase of foreign currency reserve by reducing the goods that help create capital in the country. Initiatives are essential to up the domestic products,” former minister Khatiwada suggested. He also suggested that the government effectively implement the hedging system to bring in foreign investment.
Likewise, former vice chair of National Planning Commission (NPC), Swarnim Wagle, said Nepal needs to forward its economy in an informed manner as it has been predicted that the world will face a challenging time in 2023. The financial account of the government should be robust, he said, adding, “Financial liability created by the government employees and social security is taking a toll on the economy.”
According to him, it is time to identify the sector of comparative advantage and identify the goods to be sold.
At the programme, NCC President Rajendra Malla demanded concrete actions from the government to resolve economic problems. He argued that there was no relevance to agricultural loans. Low revenue and low agro product were serious, he said, urging the government to assist in branding handicraft items and promote tourism and develop a hub of information technology.