Economic Digest Today (Jan. 19, 2020)

Khabarhub

January 19, 2020

9 MIN READ

Economic Digest Today (Jan. 19, 2020)
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KATHMANDU: Economic Digest, a daily morning email digest, is basically a relatable summation of important business news from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

Trade via Rasuwagadhi border point stalled due to snowfall

Import and exports from Rasuwagadhi border point at Nepal-China border have been stalled since Thursday following heavy snowfall. Containers that had reached Kerung, China from Nepal have failed to load goods as over three feet of snow has blanketed the road.

Chinese officials have stalled plying of vehicles keeping probable accidents in mind. Some 100 containers reach the Chinese town every day from Nepal for importing goods. Preparations are underway to resume the border point from Sunday.

Nepal’s economic growth projected below government target

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nepal’s economic growth will moderate to 6 percent in the current fiscal year 2019/20. The fund has recommended that the government focus on ensuring the growth and be wary of any risks that could affect the economy.

Nepal’s economic growth in the last fiscal year was estimated to be 7.1 percent compared to an average growth rate of 4.1 percent between fiscal year 2006/07 and 2015/16. Despite the actual growth rate in the current year is lower than that of last year as well as the government’s growth target of 8.5 percent, the IMF says that the current growth rate is still strong and expects the growth to remain healthy.

PM Oli, Modi to inaugurate Biratnagar ICP via video conferencing

Prime Minister KP Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be jointly inaugurating and Integrated Check Post (ICP) constructed in Biratnagar on Tuesday.

The prime ministers are scheduled to inaugurate the check post through video conferencing, according to the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies (MoICS).

The formal inauguration will be marked by pressing a switch by the prime ministers of both the countries through a live video conference. Before the inaugural ceremony, India will hand over the ICP to Nepal.

NEPSE rallies to a new high in 2020

The hard rallied of Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) index last week was led by the buying interest of investors in banking, microfinance, and life insurance stocks.

The index had boosted up at a serious level and risen 47 points week-on-week at the end of the second trading week of the year 2020. The turnover was more than doubled compared to the earlier week on investors’ buying interest in banking and microfinance stocks.

Market participants have mentioned lack of liquidity as their biggest concern and the main reason for the domestic stock market’s underperformance.

Potato farmers face losses of Rs 1 billion due to winter rains

Excessive winter rain has forced losses of approximately Rs 1 billion on potato farmers in the Banke and Bardiya districts. Potato production in these districts is expected to decline by 50 percent this season. A farmer in Banke, Kripa Ram Maurya said that three metric tons of his potatoes have gone bad due to the heavy rains.

In Hirminiya, farmers are facing losses of 50 percent of potatoes farmed in 500 hectares of land. The financial loss from this damage alone is expected to be around the region of Rs 200 million.

The excessive rain in November had affected 15 percent of the farms but its continuation well into January has increased that number for 50 percent.

Bagmati Province gears up for Bhimphedi- Kulekhani tunnel construction

Bagmati Province has taken initiation for the construction of the proposed Bhimphedi- Kulekhani tunnel way. The province government is currently working on a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the project and is preparing to call for a tender within the fiscal year for construction.

Bagmati Province geared up for the project after a private company that was assigned for the construction work failed to start work.

Saying that the province has forwarded the project as a project of provincial pride, Chief Minister Poudel claimed that approval from the federal government was not needed. The total cost for the four kilometers long tunnel way has been estimated at Rs 12 billion.

Nepalgunj customs export down by 62%

The export of goods and products from Nepal to India has declined by 62 percent as of mid-January of the current fiscal year 2019/20, according to Nepalgunj Customs Office. At the same time, import from India has also declined by 15 percent.

According to customs officials, the government’s strict measures in customs valuation are the cause of the decrease in imports. Petroleum products, rice, potatoes, industrial machinery goods, and other manufacturing goods are imported from the Nepalgunj border point.

According to the customs office, herbs, pine resin, ginger, ghee, iron scrapes among other goods and products are the main exports from this border point.

The export of Nepali goods to India dropped because of India tightening imports from the region only after mid-November. Businesses have faced losses of millions of rupees and the government’s revenue collection has been affected too.

Nuwakot, Rasuwa turning into hydro, solar hubs as investors pour money

The 21-MW Trishuli Hydropower Project constructed five decades ago has lit Nuwakot and its nearby areas, as well as Kathmandu Valley. The river has been attracting plenty of investors since 2005.

Based on the available data, 1,093 MW of electricity is being generated just from the Trishuli River itself. The Trishuli River’s corridor is also the base of solar projects where its foundation was laid in 2018. Upon completion of the solar foundation, it will become Nepal’s largest solar power plant.

Out of the $130 million amount lent to the government by the World Bank in 2015, $37 million was allocated for the installation of solar plants at 3 districts.

Govt moves ahead with Nijgadh airport project

The $3.45 billion airport project of Nepal in Nijgadh, Bara is moving ahead even though interim orders issued by the country’s apex court to stop chopping trees at the construction site.

The Investment Board of Nepal formally asked Zurich Airport International AG, Switzerland to submit its business proposal for the development of the airport project last Friday.

The Swiss company is fully funding the project. The Nijgadh international airport is intended to be the largest in South Asia in terms of area. The airport will be constructed in three phases. The first phase of development is expected to take 10 years to complete.

Tourist bus park of Pokhara in final stage

The long-awaited tourist bus park in Pokhara will come into operation within 2020 said, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Bhattarai.

“Department of Tourism, under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation is carrying out the construction of the tourist bus park in Pokhara,” he said, adding that he is hopeful of the operation of tourist bus park at Balaju to the soonest.

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

Economic Digest is a daily morning email digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries. By realizing that readers are faced with a packed calendar, 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 by creating news summaries in the form of Economic Digest.

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