Kathmandu, 26 April (2023) – Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said Nepal secured achievements in the development index basically in education, health, drinking water, inclusion, environment conservation and social security indicators .
In his address to the ‘Kantipur Economic Summit-2023’ today, the Prime Minister despite quality changes in some sectors, the country continued to face challenges for increasing production and productivity, for industrialization and in the employment creations.
“Trade deficit remains as one of the challenges for economic development due to a widening gap between the imports and exports. Youth migration is increasing in absence of sufficient job opportunities within the country,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that the government was effortful to increase the capital expenditure and accelerate important development projects. As he said, a meeting of the Sustainable Development High-Level Steering Committee held under his leadership recently took decisions for implementing policies and plans targeting the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs). “The government is doing homework to come up with policies, plans and programmes focusing on national production and employment.”
According to the Prime Minister, achieving good governance, development and prosperity through the federal democratic republic system as envisaged by the Constitution and advancing towards self-sufficient, prosperous and socialism-oriented economy is one of the prime goals of the government.
“Quality improvements in the dimensions of development are required to upgrade the country to a developing nation from the category of the least developed one by 2026 and to achieve the SDGs by 2030,” the Prime Minister said.
External factors such as COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine War and the global economic slowdown and internal structural issues have posed economic challenges before the country, according to the Prime Minister who recalled decisions of the very first meeting of the incumbent government which as he said were centered on improving the economy.
The Prime Minister utilised the forum to claim that government tremendous efforts, dialogues with the private sector, collective efforts and efforts to strengthen administration played roles in improving economic indicators in overall.
As the Prime Minister, now we witness quality improvement in the forex reserve, a rise in tourist arrivals and in remittance flow, an improvement in revenue collection and a ray of hope among the private sector. “Though there is not an expected improvement in the overall balance of payment despite remittance flow due to a high trade deficit and a minimum foreign assistance. But lately, we have the balance of payment surplus and it was possible because of government measures to address the deficit. But a growth in domestic production is necessary to address the situation in a sustainable away.”
As the Prime Minister said on the occasion, it has been already decided to remove restrictions in the real estate business so as to make the economy vibrant and prevent industries and enterprises from facing a potential crisis.
“Required initiatives have been taken to reduce bank interest rates. With balance of payment heading on positive track lately, there have been gradually improvements in the liquidity problem and interest rates. Some significant steps will be taken for additional improvements,” he said.
As he said, a high level study taskforce will be formed to patch up a trust deficit between cooperatives and microfinances, make cooperatives focus on production and labour sector, ensure the safety of deposits and provide justice to the affected groups.
He stressed the need for the Nepal Rastra Bank to take necessary steps for regulatory reforms in microfinances, and the government he said was ready to provide help and support.
The Prime Minister added that the government was at work to take the media as the national service industry, distribute government advertisements proportionally through the Advertisement Board Nepal, and ensure media security.
The government will take initiatives in managing pension to senior journalists and journalists with disabilities, relieving media of double taxation like royalty and tax, and establishing an integrated media development fund for the institutional development of media industry, according to him. “The process to make communications-related laws is underway while ensuring full press freedom.