April 15: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the import of vehicles and machinery parts has increased by 10.5 percent in the last eight months of the fiscal year states the Current Macroeconomic and Financial Situation report released by Nepal Rastra Bank.
In the last eight months of the current fiscal year, vehicles, equipment and parts worth Rs 80.44 billion have been imported against the import of Rs 72.81 billion in the review period of the last fiscal year. The annual vehicles import and their parts stood at Rs 83.82 billion in the Fiscal Year 2019/20.
India is the largest supplier of vehicles and their parts to Nepal, accounting for Rs 66.31 billion of the total import. There has been an increase of 16.6 percent in import of vehicles from India. Nepal imports vehicles and their spare parts from India, China and third countries.
Meanwhile the country has imported vehicles and their parts worth Rs 305 million from China in the review period which is a decline by 23.1 percent compared to the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Due to the border shutdown imposed by China since the outbreak of COVID-19, the overall import and export to and from China have declined in the review period of this fiscal year. The share of total imports from China has declined by 7.1 percent while export came down by 43.7 percent in the last eight months of the fiscal year.
The country imported transport equipment and parts worth Rs 3.6 billion from other countries. It is a decline of 33.8 percent compared to the review period of the last fiscal year.
COVID-19 pandemic brought economic activities to a halt all over the world. The first three months of the lockdown imposed by the Government of Nepal slowed down all kinds of economic activities. After the government lifted lockdown, the impacts of COVID-19 started to decline and economic activities also gathered pace.
“As soon as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the auto business also picked up pace. People were looking for areas of investment and banks were also providing auto loans at low interest rates which boosted the sales leading to rise in vehicles import,” says Sunil Rijal, secretary general of Nepal Automobiles Dealers Association (NADA).
According to Rijal, the two-wheeler segment has recorded highest sales followed by cars. However, sales of buses have recorded a huge decline.