KATHMANDU: Every single time we see a new government formed in our country we are made promises of self-reliance and a stronger economy. This has also been the stance of the current government who has a 2/3 majority in the parliament. If we take a close look at the statistics of the imports and exports of the country, the situation is pitiful. If we take the numbers as guaranteed which of course they are we are being silently pushed back being dependent on several commodities being imported from third countries. Our imports have are constantly on the rise.
What has happened to our nation which is mainly agrarian? We are sending billions of rupees abroad importing essential agricultural commodities like Rice, Millet, Wheat, Maize, and Corn. Our country which is abundantly blessed in water resources still spends millions importing packaged drinking water. Not only are we importing essential commodities we have also had a history of buying luxury goods which is an added strain to our economy.
In totality, the figure of our imports stands at 14 trillion, 18 billion, 50.3 million, 43 thousand Nepalese rupees. Our government has not been attentive towards our local manufacturing units, thus increasing the level of imports on a yearly basis which is extremely worrisome. Our consumption of local goods has been decreasing, and our craze for foreign goods constantly on the rise has turned our economy into shambles. This has brought huge losses to our economy. This opinion was also firmly recorded by economist Prof (Dr.) Chandramani Adhikari.
Our trade deficit has been increasing at a considerable pace. Our imports have exceeded and are 15 times more than our exports burdening our economy. In the financial year 2018-19, the losses in business amounted to 13 Trillion, 21 Billion, 48 Million, and 22 Thousand Nepalese rupees. According to Dr. Adhikari massive imports has increased the trade deficit and has caused humongous losses to the national economy.
Our country requires production and more manufacturing units in order to be self-reliant, this has not been the case and therefore the growth has been painfully slow. In the agricultural sector, we lack human resources as well as technology. This has led us to import daily essentials. Our country was economically sinking especially in the fiscal year 1998-99 and towards the fiscal period of 2005-06. In the year 1998, our country witnessed an internal conflict which led to shutting down of manufacturing units, attacks on infrastructure and hence employment opportunities were scarce. This resulted in our economic downfall. From the fiscal year 2006-07 after the conflict which brought in peace, the government was still not able to bring back thousands of youth who went abroad in search of a better livelihood. This put pressure on the human resources of our nation and thus our existing and deteriorating condition.
(This is an edited translation the original can be found in our Nepali site authored by Mr. Kamal Mani Pokharel)