Nepal Economic Digest (Feb. 13, 2020)


February 13, 2020


Nepal Economic Digest (Feb. 13, 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.

Budget size ‘reduced’ to Rs 1 trillion 385 billion and 963 million

Minister for Finance Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada has said that the size of the current fiscal year budget has been reduced to Rs 1 trillion 385 billion and 963 million as only 90.4 percent of the total budget has been estimated to be spent.

Speaking at a program in Kathmandu, Finance Minister Khatiwada said that the budget has been ‘resized’ saying that chances of spending the total allocated amount look slim. The government now expects to mobilize Rs 1.132 trillion in revenue and domestic loans.

It has also aimed to secure Rs 43.554 billion in foreign grants. The government has also decided to raise Rs. 2.09 as foreign debt in a bid to finance the deficit in the budget.

 Govt to issue a white paper on Melamchi project today

The government is issuing a white paper on the long-awaited Melamchi drinking water project on Thursday. Sources said the Ministry of Water Supply will issue the white paper organizing a program today.

The white paper will include the work progress and the remaining task of the Melamchi drinking water project. According to the ministry, the project work will be completed in the next six months.

Nyadi Hydro Project stalled as Chinese fail to join work

Coronavirus outbreak in neighboring China has affected the work on the Nyadi Hydropower Project in Lamjung. There are 61 Chinese nationals working in the project, out of which, 57 had gone to China and only two managed to return.

“With 55 of our workers stuck in China, work on the project has stopped for now,” the project officials said. The project, being constructed on the Nadi River, has been stalled for about a month.

“The project is led by the Chinese and in their absence, even the Nepali workers can’t work,” stated Bijay Gurung, the project’s public relations officer.

Only two industries producing masks

Demand for ‘air-filter masks’ is on the market. Demand for the mask is rising to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus from the Wuhan city of China, he said.

Due to the outbreak of the virus, the mask has not been imported for two weeks. Masks are not even found in the market. Currently, only two industries in Nepal are producing masks. He could not afford the demand here. Therefore, the entrepreneurs rely on the importer.

Naveen Shrestha has recently launched the paper mask industry. His industry produces about 2,000 to 3,000 masks daily.

Birgunj ICP to operate in full capacity from mid-March

The integrated checkpoint (ICP) of Birgunj is set to operate at full capacity from mid of March. The checkpoint was jointly inaugurated by Nepali Prime Minister K P Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2018. Currently, 60% of the cargo that passes through Birgunj is handled by the ICP.

Corona affected large projects

The coronavirus that has spread in China since last December has had a direct impact on the construction of large projects in Nepal.

The projects of national pride of Nepal being constructed by the Chinese workers have been affected. The construction of Gautam Buddha International Airport, which is about to reach the final stage, has been slow.

Similarly, the Nyadi hydropower project under construction in Bansihar has been halted. The project has been affected due to a lack of supply of necessary manpower and materials in the project, which has been taken over by the Chinese company.

(Compiled and prepared by Swastik Aryal, Akash Shrestha, Nitish Lal Shrestha, Diana Zulkifli)

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.