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ADB projects 5.5 % GDP for coming fiscal year in Nepal




KATHMANDU — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has forecasted 5.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the coming fiscal year 2018/19 in Nepal.

The ADB made this higher forecast hinges on the assumption of normal monsoon and acceleration of ongoing mega projects.
The Edition of Macroeconomic Update of Asia, the main annual publication of ADB, released here today, expected Nepal’s economy to grow at a slower pace of 4.9 per cent in current fiscal year from 6.0 per cent in previous fiscal year weighed down by floods of August 2017 and the erosion of base effect.

On the occasion, ADB Country Director for Nepal, Makhtor Khamudkhanov said, “Production of summer crops like maize and millet is expected to increase in fiscal year 2017/18 as compared to the previous fiscal year while the industrial grow rate is estimated to go down.”

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Even with increased capacity utilization of industries, industrial growth is set to be lower in current fiscal year from the high rate in previous fiscal year, largely due to low investment in the manufacturing sub-sector for years owing to political instability and structural bottlenecks, reads Macroeconomic Update.

He said, “Substantive growth in government expenditures and moderate upticks in investment would drive growth in current fiscal year and government expenditures have increased significantly this fiscal year partly for local, provincial and parliamentary elections.”

“Additionally, the government has appointed fiscal transfer of Rs 232.2 billion (about 8.0% of GDP) to local and provincial governments under the federal structures of governance.”

Similarly, average annual inflation is expected to rise moderately to 5.5 per cent in current fiscal year 2017/18 from 4.5 per cent in previous fiscal year.

This is below the inflation target of 7.0% set by Nepal Rastra Bank and external sector stability is vulnerable over the medium-term with slow remittance growth and rising trade deficit, he added.

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The Macroeconomic Update also shed lights on the importance of agricultural commercialization in Nepal and the need for its effective implementation by addressing legal, institutional, financial and infrastructural barriers.

Commercialized agriculture via contract and cooperative farming methods can be one of the major sources of revenue generation for the country if practiced on a wider scale.

It will not only help generate local employment but also meet domestic demands with improved crop and livestock production and promote export potential of niche agro products.

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TIA to operate services for 21 hrs daily from upcoming mid-May





KATHMANDU — Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has said that the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), the only international airport in the country, would be operated for 21 hours daily.

In an interaction organized by the Nepal Tourism Infrastructure Development Council here in the Ministry on Tuesday, Minister Adhikari shared that the Ministry was preparing to operate the TIA for 21 hours daily from upcoming mid-May.

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He added that the move was targeted to lessen air traffic pressure as the TIA is facing acute air traffic pressure as of late.

He added that though he was planning to operate 24 hours services in the TIA, it takes time to this effect. He also shared that night flights currently available from Kathmandu to Dangadhi will be extended to Bhadrapur of Jhapa in the near future.

Experts in tourism and culture sectors suggested Minister Adhikari to adopt effective plans and programmes for the development of these sectors.

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