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Economy

Finance Minister Khatiwada presents current picture of nation’s economy

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KATHMANDU — Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada has pointed out economic challenges facing the country due to various causes.

Blaming the lack of proper capital mobilisation in part for economic challenges, he stated some difficulties in budget expenditure.

“Big projects fail to be completed in stipulated time, and for estimated costs. Distribution-oriented programmes have surpassed productive ones,” he said.

He also stressed the need for all to help achieve the goal set by the government to upgrade the country to the list of developing one by 2022.

He pointed out failure in making industry sector competitive, while identifying additional challenges alongside shrinkage in investment in employment and production sectors.

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“Industries established by the government are in loss. Problem of unemployment is growing in Nepal’s labour market. Fiscal mobilization is yet to reach rural areas,” the Finance Minister added.

Stating that domestic capital market was just limited to securities, he said the entire nation’s economy had become import-oriented. Allocation of budget without proper plan and the trend of spending capital budget at the eleventh hour of the fiscal remained as challenges in the economic sector.

“Huge budget has been invested to operate a pension fund.”

As stated by the Finance Minister, the government has not got price (results) for its investment in public enterprises and it is yet to pay them for the management of employees’ salary and for operation of the retirement fund.

He was of the view of proper development and utilization of information technology to attain economic progress.

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Economy

Business community demands slash in interest rate

Pratigya Waiju

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BIRATNAGAR— The industrialists and traders in Biratnagar have asked the government to immediately reduce the high interest rate charged by the bank and financial institutions (BFIs) from the borrowers.

They argued that the interest rate should be around seven percent for the production-based industries and up to nine percent for the trading firms.

At a programme jointly organised by Industry Association Morang and Trade Association Morang on Thursday, the business leaders drew attention of the government to that end adding that job creation for the labour force of 500,000 was not likely only from the industry and trade sectors.

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Stressing the need for slashing the interest rate, they also argued the central bank should realise the reality that no bank was running out of loss. The industrialists and businesspersons said that industries and business should flourish to reduce the trade deficit, strengthen the economy and create more job opportunities.

Industrialists Bhim Ghimire, Pawan Kumar Sharda, Sushen Pyakurel, Moti Dugad and others said that bank’s interest rate should be low to increase the domestic investment and lure the foreign investment.

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