March 30: Financial and economic experts have urged the government to be serious about improving the country’s economic situation.
Speaking at an interaction program on the issue 'Current economic situation of the country' organised by the Parliamentary Studies and Development Institute in the capital on Tuesday, they said that the government should not delay in bringing programs for reform.
The experts stressed that the government should not waste time saying that the situation is not alarming when the country's economic situation is weakening every day.
Former speaker of the House of Representatives and founding president of the institute Damannath Dhungana said that the life of common people is deteriorating day by day.
“It is a difficult situation. We had to move forward by easing the current situation," he said.
Deep Kumar Upadhyay, the former minister and former Nepalese ambassador to India, said that there are widespread complaints about banks. "Even though all the indices of the economy have declined, why did it not have much effect on the banks?" he questioned.
Upadhyay said that it is unfair to distribute licenses to financial institutions on a large scale in the beginning, and then to control them through the policy of forced merger.
Former Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Dr Govind Raj Pokharel warned that the country’s trade deficit has increased, the revenue collection has decreased, and the development work has not picked up pace. Similarly, cautioned the government about the the increase in current expenditure, decrease in capital expenditure, decline in investment and problems in getting loans from banks.
Pokharel said that political turmoil is also responsible for the current crisis, adding, “Policy discomfort has also created problems in the business environment. Due to the unfriendly policies, businessmen are forced into bad practices.”
Pokharel also stressed on the need to diversify the economy, which is becoming more dependent on remittances.
Economist Achyut Wagle drew the government's attention to dismal revenue collection of the government.
According to Wgle, it is rare that the income of the state cannot cover the administrative expenses as it is now.
Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industry (CNI), said that the market demand is very low at present. According to him, the business community is in trouble because the demand is less.
Kamlesh Kumar Agarwal, vice president of Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) said that the high interest rates of banks has made it impossible for businesses to run and urged the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to issue instructions to reduce the interest rate to a single digit.
NRB Governor Maha Prasad Adhikari said that although the economic situation is somewhat uncomfortable, there is no need to panic. Arguing that the strict measures taken by the central bank are as per the demand of the time, Governor Adhikari added, “Everything will come back to normal once the market economy improves.”