Seven percent economic growth predicted in current fiscal year

Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada, economic growth of Nepal

By Bhisma Raj Ojha and Krishna Raj Gautam

The government has predicted the seven percent economic growth rate in the current fiscal 2075-76 BS (2018-19).

An economic survey report of the past eight months of the current fiscal presented by the government today before the House of Representatives noted that the inflation rate on overage during this period will remain at 4.2 percent.

The report unveiled by Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada stated that most economic, social and physical infrastructure development indicators in the current fiscal were encouraging.

On the occasion, the minister said that notable improvement was witnessed in financial sectors in the fiscal year 2075/076 BS.

Nation’s economy is making its headway towards a high growth due to improvement in investment atmosphere in the wake of political stability at home, regular power supply and a rise in development efforts at the local level, the minister said while reading the report.

Expansion of economic activities has resulted in the increase of per capita income; people’s saving capacity has increased with the rise in GDP and the internal saving exceeded 20 percent of GDP for the first time in many decades and it has significantly contributed to the building of national capital.

It is cited that policy-level and legal reforms made for attracting domestic and foreign investment have gradually paved the way for sustainable and high economic growth.

However, the trade deficit is predicted to remain high due to the expansion of import of industrial and capital goods for high investment and a limited export size.

The report projected the population living below the absolute poverty line will decrease to 18.7 percent from the existing 21 percent.

Per capita income is estimated to reach 117,000 and per capita purchasable income has been predicted to touch 155,000.

The total investment is likely to increase by 29 percent and reach Rs 267 billion. Till the month of Fagun(mid-March), the total government expenditure increased by 2.2 percent compared to the corresponding period last fiscal year and reached Rs 541 billion.

Similarly, Rs 500 billion revenue has been deposited in the Federal Reserve Fund which is 21.7 percent more than of the previous year.

Likewise, commitments for an additional Rs 107 billion foreign assistance including grants have been received.

Till the same period, the total public debt is Rs 978 billion including the foreign loan. Commercial banks have reached 713 local levels, out of total 753, while the total number of banks and financial institutions has reached 4,701.

Some 18 percent citizens have their access to insurance and the total export increased by 14.6 percent to touch at Rs 61 billion while the import of goods went up by 23.8 percent and was calculated at Rs 949 billion.

The total goods trade deficit has remained Rs 888 billion. The inflow of remittance has reached Rs 582 billion, a 23.4 percent rise than the corresponding year.

There has been a 35.9 percent drop in the number of the Nepali migrant workers leaving for greener pasture with labor permit in the past eight months.

As many as 7,953 jobs were estimated to be created in the country as a commitment of foreign investment worth Rs 11 billion for 218 industries in the country were received as of mid-March.

According to the survey, a total of 77.8 percent of the total population in the country had access to electricity while the total electricity generation in the country was pegged at 1142 megawatt.

The survey showed that only 18 percent of the total population had accessed electricity facility generated from the source of renewable energy.

Similarly, there was a total of 31,393 kilometers of road (14,102 kilometers blacktopped; 7,889 kilometers partially blacktopped and 9,410 kilometers gravel) in the country as of mid-March.

All the district headquarters (76), except Humla, in the country, were linked with the road network, it was shared.

Similarly, construction works relating to the national pride projects such as Pokhara Regional International Airport, Mid-Hill Highway and South-North Highway were expedited while the work relating to the construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport at Bhairahawa would be completed within mid-July this year.

Likewise, the country recorded a total of 1,173,000 foreign tourists visiting Nepal in 2018 except for those Indian tourists arriving in Nepal via road.

Among the total foreign tourists visiting Nepal as of mid-March this year, 82.8 percent of them flew to Nepal while rest 17.2 arrived from via road.

The construction of a total of 60,500 private building had been forwarded during this period while construction works for 262 government building were undertaken. Likewise, 4,201 school buildings were built, 643 buildings for health posts were constructed while 221 historical monuments were reconstructed and 124 buildings of security agencies were constructed during this period.

Besides, during this period, the adjustment of government employees was carried out at the federal level, state and local level.