KATHMANDU: Economic Digest, a daily morning email digest, is basically a relatable summation of important business news from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.
Tourists reluctant to leave for home
Some fifteen foreign tourists in Manang have expressed their unwillingness to return home as they fear the increased risk of COVID-19 in their home countries.
The tourists from the United States of America, Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, Israel and other European countries have shown unwillingness saying that they would rather be safe in Nepal, according to Chief District Officer of Manang, Pushpa Raj Poudel.
The tourists are currently staying in Pisang, Chame, Upper Manang, Timang and Dharapani.
Nepal’s lowland ‘food basket’ vulnerable to climate change
Nepal has signed a US$50 million financing deal to enhance the Nepal government’s capacity to manage risks from climate change and natural disasters.
Disaster-prone Nepal’s southernmost lowland parts, widely known as Terai, linked with India’s border, are less resilient to natural disasters than the sparsely-populated hilly and mountain areas, says a new study.
Nepal is frequently hit by hazardous events. In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude of earthquake took about 9,000 lives and damaged over two million houses and critical infrastructures such as hospitals, roads, and bridges.
Monsoonal floods, landslides, land erosion and forest fires, cloudbursts and hailstorm events are regular events that impede economic activities.
Guided by the Disaster Resilience of Place model, the study selected 22 variables as indicators of social, economic, community, infrastructure, and environmental resilience to build a geospatial and visual depiction of community disaster resilience across Nepal.
The study can help decision-makers allocate scarce resources to increase resilience at the local level in the lowlands and achieve food security goals.
Lockdown halts construction of Gautam Buddha Int’l Airport
The construction of the Gautam Buddha International Airport, the national pride project, based in Sidhharthanagar of Rupandehi district has been badly slowed due to the nationwide lockdown implemented by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Local workers hired for the projects are already out of work as they have returned home with the announcement of lockdown.
Transportation of purchased construction equipment up to the construction site has been halted due to stay home order, according to project chief Prabesh Adhikari.
The North West Civil Aviation had been awarded the airport construction contract on December 31, 2014, at a cost of around Rs 6.23 billion and the first deadline was till December 2017. The contract was given through a global tender process.
The project chief said it seems hard to complete the project even in the latest deadline as works were largely affected by lockdown.
Shortage of cooking gas continues
There is a shortage of cooking gas in the Nepali market despite NOC adopting numerous distribution mechanisms.
The government has also announced a 20% discount on the electricity tariff which has households switch to using electric appliances rather than cooking gas. The fast selling induction stove, at the Food Management and Trading Company Limited, also provides evidence of an increasing habit of the people in use of electrical appliances in their kitchen.
Recently, the company has almost cleared its stock of the induction stoves that had remained unsold since the 2015 earthquake. The NOC since last week has asked the gas bottlers to sell only half filled cylinder targeting to provide access to a large number of consumers and to discourage hoarding of LP gas cylinders.
In addition, the enterprise itself has been using mobile vans to distribute the cooking gas on the spot. Despite these dimensions of demand and supply and distribution measures, the NOC has still been struggling to ensure adequate availability of the LP gas to its consumers.
In the context of an increasing number of complaints, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Lekh Raj Bhatta himself carried out market inspection on Saturday.
Sanitation workers facing shortage of safety equipment
As Kathmandu metropolitan city has continued the waste management, the sanitation workers for it are at risk due to lack of safety equipment.
The workers are not getting a safety gown as they require. Only 500 such gowns, gloves, masks have been distributed in KMC and Kirtipur municipality sanitation workers.
The Guthi, non-governmental institutions, provided the stuff to the workers via respective mayors of the municipalities on Friday.
Tokha municipality establishes Rs 25 million fund to combat COVID-19
Tokha municipality in the northern belt of Kathmandu Valley has set up Rs 25-million fund to fight COVID-19. The municipality executive committee meeting on Friday decided to establish the fund in view of the potential risk of coronavirus infection.
As said by municipality mayor Prakash Adhikari, the fund is meant for the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19.
Finance Ministry asks government offices to curtail expenses
The Ministry of Finance has asked government offices to reduce expenses in a number of activities, targeting to manage the financial resources in the priority areas due to the impact of COVID-19.
The ministry has halted the expenses previously allocated on fourteen headings including the consultant fees, employees training charges, programs conduction, capacity building and public awareness related workshops, miscellaneous events, monitoring and evaluation except for the urgent needs and contingent recurrent expenditure.
A 15-bed quarantine established in Chitwan jail
A 15-bed quarantine facility has been established inside the Chitwan jail to prevent the possible outbreak of coronavirus within and from this prison.
The decision to this effect was made after some 11 prisoners were brought to the overcrowded prison from Nawalpur as the district does not have a prison.
According to Chitwan jail chief Kamal Prasad Kafle, they received 11 new inmates from Nawalpur, and were brought to Chitwan jail due to special circumstances. The Chitwan jail, which has space for 255 inmates, currently has 668 male prisoners.
Likewise, some 55 female prisoners and 3 babies accompanying their mothers in the jail are currently in the jail that has the capacity to accommodate 25 female prisoners. The prison administration has banned visitors’ entry now.
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. The Institute for Strategic and Socio-Economic Research (ISSR), Nepal’s independent think tank, and Khabarhub — Nepal popular news portal — have joined hands to disseminate news from Nepal in the form of Economic Digest.