Nepal Economic Digest (August 03, 2020)


August 3, 2020


Nepal Economic Digest (August 03, 2020)

KATHMANDU: Economic Digest, a daily morning email digest, is basically a relatable summation of important business news from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

Workers seek govt intervention in lay-offs and pay-cuts during lockdown

Workers demonstrated seeking government intervention to address the laying off of staffers and reduction in salary of those retained by various companies and organizations, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total six federations of trade unions affiliated to vivid political parties that are dissatisfied by the unfair move of a number of organizations organized the demonstration.

Reviewing the laws and agreements that have been affecting the workers’ welfare and resuming the workers in jobs, among others, are the major demands of the workers.

World’s ‘longest’ pedestrian suspension bridge’ constructed in Nepal

The construction of the world’s ‘longest’ pedestrian suspension bridge’ over Kaligandaki River in Baglung of Gandaki Province has completed.

Spanning 567 meters, the bridge connects Kusma of Parbat with Baglung district. The single-span suspension bridge is set to be registered in the Guinness Book of World Records, claiming to be the longest in the world.

Information Officer of Baglung Municipality Yukta Prasad Subedi said that the necessary statistics of the bridge have been sent to the Statistics Department for verification.

The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland currently holds the record of the longest pedestrian bridge in the world spanning 1,621 feet (494 meters), according to CNN.

The bridge was constructed at a cost of Rs 92.5 million, said Engineer Sagar Ram Nepal of the Contract Management Branch of the Suspension Bridge Division Office, Kathmandu.

The construction company stated that the bridge has been opened for the public as the movement of people didn’t stop although some works need to be completed. The bridge is yet to be handed over formally.

Around 25 percent workers return to work in tourism sector

Tourism activities in Pokhara are striving to return to normalcy as workers in the sector have begun returning to their work stations after the government lifted the four-month-long lockdown.

According to Pokhara Tourism Council, around 25 percent workers associated to the industry has returned to work after the tourism business opened.

The government had allowed the resumption of tourism activities last week. Vice-Chair of the Council Gopi Bhattarai said that the industry has resumed for internal management only.

Hotel, restaurants, shops, travel agencies have started to open in Pokhara. Bhattarai said only 25 percent employees can join the work in the initial phase. He added that other workers will join after the industry gains pace.

China rejects Nepal’s proposal to extend deadline for payment of loans

The government has proposed to extend the deadline for payment of interest and principal of the loans taken from donor countries and international agencies.

Discussions and consultations have started with donor countries to extend the deadline owning to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The government currently has a debt of Rs 1.312 trillion. Out of that, the internal debt stands at Rs 594.18 billion.

This loan is taken from Nepali banks and its loan repayment period is from one year to 10 years. Similarly, the foreign debt stands at Rs 0.718 trillion.

The government has instructed the banks and financial institutions to extend the deadline for the principal and interest payments within the country, but it has not yet decided on loans and assistance taken from abroad.

According to the Ministry of Finance, discussions are underway with the donor countries and agencies on the issue. Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada himself is urging to postpone the repayment period of foreign loans for a few years.

NOC hikes petrol, diesel prices

The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has increased the price of petroleum products with effect from Saturday midnight. The corporation increased the price of petrol by Rs 2 per liter and diesel and kerosene by Rs 1.50 per liter.

According to NOC Spokesperson Binit Mani Upadhyaya, the price has been increased as the price of petroleum products has gone up according to the purchase list received from the Indian Oil Corporation. Earlier, petrol was priced Rs 102 per liter but, now it has reached Rs 104 with the hike.

Similarly, the price of diesel and kerosene has gone up from Rs 88.50 per liter to Rs 90. The corporation has not increased the price of aviation fuel and cooking gas.

(Compiled and prepared by Nitish Lal Shrestha)

Nepal Economic Digest is a daily morning email digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news, happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

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