Nepal’s economic performance positive, not to worry: Finance Minister


Nepal’s Finance minister on Monday dismissed claims by opposition parties that the country’s economy will deteriorate further in the coming days, saying that the Himalayan Nation’s economic performance is positive.

On Monday, three former finance ministers of Nepal– Bishnu Paudel, Surendra Pandey and Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada– belonging to party Communist Party of Nepal (Unified MarxistLeninist) (CPN-UML) made public a 12-point joint statement on the latest economic scenario of the country.

They lamented that the country’s economy was heading towards crisis and it should be brought on the right track through positive interference.

“The country has not gone through any big economic crisis based on the evaluation of available details so far,” Foreign Minister Janardan Sharma claimed on Monday while briefing the latest situation of the country’s economy.

Minister Sharma dismissed the joint statement issued by three former Finance Ministers belonging to the main opposition CPN-UML.

Sharma further said that misinformation on the issue was making the rounds with an intent to discourage traders and mislead people and viewed that such acts should be stopped.

“The government is alert and aware about making the country’s economy function smoothly.”

In another context, the Finance Minister clarified that the investigation into the Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, Maha Prasad Adhikari, was conducted in compliance with the law and the Rastra Bank Act.

The Nepal government has suspended the NRB Governor last week for failing to perform his duty.

A probe committee has been formed to look into the matter and further decisions would be taken acting on the report by the committee, pointed out the Finance Minister.

Urging one and all not to go by rumours about the country’s flagging economy, Minister asserted that the Nepalese economy was moving in a positive direction despite the COVID-19 crisis and “struggle” between Russia and Ukraine.

In the current fiscal year so far, remittances amounting to over Rs 631 billion were remitted to the country, a 4.9 per cent decrease as opposed to the same period in the previous year, he pointed out.

He, however, admitted that the country’s trade deficit has increased to over Rs 1,290 billion until April 8, 2022, of the current fiscal year. During the period, goods worth over Rs 1,450 billion were imported while goods worth over Rs 159 billion were exported. The import and export increased by 33.9 and 72.8 per cent respectively as compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, according to the Ministry.

Similarly, at present, the country has foreign exchange reserves amounting to over Rs 1,171 billion as compared to more than Rs 1,399 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year, he informed.

Furthermore, he said that a proposal had been forwarded to temporarily ban the import of expensive and luxurious vehicles and not to allow the government agencies’ vehicles to be used on public holidays.

Nepal’s economic instability comes into the limelight at a moment when another Asian nation Sri Lanka is witnessing one of its worst forex crises that have brought the government in a fix.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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