KATHMANDU: The prolonged lockdown imposed to curb COVID-19 pandemic has hard hit the economy though experts are skeptical about the desired impact in the pandemic control itself.
The loosening of the lockdown seems to still fail to help the staggering economy from collapse as the government decree setting the early deadline revenue submission has been nullified by the verdict given by the Supreme Court.
The government is said to be in an economic crisis as the regular expense has exceeded regular revenue collection alarmingly.
The country needs Rs 40 billion for regular monthly expenses whereas, according to Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, the public revenue collected per month is hardly Rs 15 billion.
With the alarming imbalance in the income and expenditure, the government is running with the back up of internal loans.
Finance Minister Khatiwada had earlier revealed with the status quo is prolonged up to July 15, there would be a further crisis.
As an attempt to address the possible hard time, the lockdown was relaxed slightly and before that, all firms, authorities, and the individuals were requested to submit the tax they owe to the state at the earliest.
He had set the early deadline for it. However, the Supreme Court orders stating that the government can collect the revenue only 30 days after the lockdown removal.
In the meantime, observers critical of the government opine that the economy was not in good health even before the pandemic was traced in the country.
Former Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki claims that the government had tried to veil the poor economic status just by making high sounding success stories, but actually the country was in a difficult time even before the pandemic crisis turned visible here.
“We had been pointing out that the economy is not in good health, that was even before the pandemic was traced in the country, and the pandemic just revealed that the economy was hollow long before it,” Karki said.
He criticized the government for not learning from the mistake and not heeding to the suggestions of the oppositions and even experts.
“We had advised the government to expand the range of tax, minimize the unnecessary expenses and focus on the prime agenda of the country at the present,” he added, “Unfortunately, the government just tried to veil the errors rather than correcting them.”
Yet, former Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi opines that the crisis should be solved unitedly and adds that whoever is in a position to pay should cooperate the government by paying it in time.
The government’s lockdown relaxation seems to offer some relief to the entrepreneurs, but the public is still skeptical about the cost the public has to pay provided the cases keep on soaring high in the present ratio.
The government imposed the lockdown when there was 1 coronavirus case in the country and has made the lockdown lose when the cases are at rising every day making single day’s case nearly three months of the lockdown.