May 6: Minister for Finance Bishnu Prasad Poudel has admitted that the second wave of coronavirus has posed a serious threat to the financial future of the country.
Addressing an informal meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers virtually on Wednesday (May 5), Minister Poudel said, “We have faced obstacle to achieve financial growth due to the multifaceted effects of Covid-19 in inclusive and sustainable development.”
In the virtual meeting held on the sidelines of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Poudel reiterated that although utmost efforts were made to bring the situation under control by uplifting the economy, the current circumstances have painted a grim picture of Nepal's economy.
Stating that the outbreak of second wave of Covid-19 had caused a huge setback to the economy of Nepal, Minister Poudel said that the tourism sector and other service sectors were most affected by the pandemic.
The adverse effects of Covid-19 has been reflected in the cut down in jobs, lay-offs of the employees, loss in business among others, argued the Minister. He added that Covid-19 had posed challenges for efforts aimed at promoting inclusiveness, human development and alleviating poverty.
The Minister also expressed his view that it was imperative to ensure that all the countries had access to procure the vaccines against coronavirus. On the occasion, he extended gratefulness towards the government of India for providing vaccines against Covid-19 and said that it had enabled launching of vaccination drive in the SAARC region.
He pressed for formulating policies and strategies by all the SAARC-member nations to cushion the effects of Covid-19 on the SAARC region’s economy and to promote local production in the developing nations of the region.
During the meeting, Minister Poudel extended his thankfulness to the ADB for its financial and technical support to Nepal in its covid-19 response and efforts to promote economic activities.
The finance ministers of SAARC and delegates had univocally underscored the need for mutual cooperation for socio-economic recovery to cushion the effect of Covid-19 on the economy of SAARC region. -- RSS