Economic Digest Today (Jan. 22, 2020)


January 22, 2020


Economic Digest Today (Jan. 22, 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.

Oli, Modi jointly inaugurate Biratnagar ICP

The Nepalese Prime Minister K P Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narandra Modi jointly inaugurated the integrated check post (ICP) at Biratnagar through a video conference on Tuesday. In an official ceremony held in Biratnagar, Indians formally handed over the ICP of the country to the Nepali Authorities.

The project was built with grant assistance from India worth Rs 2.24 billion. The Biratnagar ICP has the capacity to handle 500 trucks a day. Services like customs, immigration, and border security will not be available under a single roof.

In addition, the ICP is also equipped with facilities like a warehouse with cold stores, passenger terminal buildings, currency exchange services, cargo buildings and more. Government officials and traders alike say that the new and modern ICP will not only ease customs processes but also reduce the time and cost required to pass goods across the border.

Six check posts with China to be upscaled: Minister Bhatta

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Lekharaj Bhatta has said the government was doing all necessary works to streamline and upscale the check posts with Nepal’s neighboring countries including those six with China.

Inaugurating the Marin Festival organized by Sindhuli Chamber of Commerce and Industries in Marin rural municipality, Minister Bhatta shared that six check posts with China including the one at Tatopani and Keyrung would be upgraded so as to further bolster ties between Nepal and China.

Stating that a feasibility study was conducted on setting up an industrial area at Marind rural municipality, Bhatta assured that they would reach a logical conclusion soon. He was hopeful that the inauguration of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Biratnagar jointly by Prime Minister KP Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would further facilitate the export of goods from Nepal to India and other countries thereby aiding in the reduction of trade deficit.

Economy on a healthy track: Finance Minister Khatiwada

Minister for Finance Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada has said that the country’s economy was moving ahead on a robust, straight and stable track. At a program organized on the 53rd anniversary of the Agricultural Development Bank in the capital city, Khatiwada said that the nation’s economy was in a prideful state.

Saying that the country’s annual economic growth rate will be between 6 to 8 percent, the finance minister argued. He claimed that Nepal’s overall financial and banking system is the most robust system in South Asia. On the occasion, the finance minister also argued that the inflation rate of 6 percent should not be marked as ‘panicking’.

Sugar producers yet to pay farmers

Sugarcane farmers who are owed over Rs 1 billion were hopeful of receiving their payments by this week. Three weeks ago, sugar producers had made promises to settle the dues by Tuesday but a source at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) said that the sugar mills have only paid around Rs 160 million.

According to the source, the mills are still requesting that the government extend the deadline for them to clear their dues. Annapurna Sugar Mill representatives have said that they will only be able to pay farmers after they receive payments from the Nepal Electricity Authority. The government has repeatedly asked sugar producers to pay farmers on time but their efforts have not been enough.

HBL and MaxMoney sign agreement

Himalayan Bank Ltd (HBL) and MaxMoney, a Malaysian firm, have signed an agreement on remittances transfer. In a statement issued on Tuesday, HBL said its CEO Ashok Sumsher Rana and MaxMoney’s Mo Avidhamid signed the agreement in Malaysia.

Hyundai KONA Electric sets Guinness World Record

Hyundai Electric SUV KONA has set a Guinness World Record. Hyundai issued a statement on Tuesday saying,  KONA is the first fully electric SUV driven to an altitude of 5,731 meters (Sawula Pass) in Tibet and astoundingly breaking the previous record of 5,715.28 meters.

The company added in the statement, “During the expedition, KONA Electric performed as a true SUV on harsh weather conditions like low temperatures, continuous snowfall and icy tarmacs. The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in KONA Electric ensured the stability of the car handling in all road conditions.”

NAC to fly to Narita from March 2

Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) has announced that commercial flights from Kathmandu to Narita in Japan will be operational from March 2, 2020. The introductory fares for the Kathmandu-Narita flight have been set at Rs 80,000 per person for a round trip and Rs 40,000 per person for a one-way ticket.

According to Ganesh Chand, a spokesperson for NAC, they have received permission to operate three flights a week. However, for the initial phase, NAC has chosen to run only two lights a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays). NAC also started operating commercial flights to Osaka since August 29, 2019.

Marsyangdi-Syuchatar transmission line tower faces risk of landslide

A tower of 132 kV Marsyangdi-Syuchatar transmission line is at high risk of getting swept away by a landslide due to the construction of a hotel nearby.

About 100 MW electricity generated from the hydroelectricity project built in the Marsyangdi River basin is being evacuated to Kathmandu through the Marsyangdu-Syuchatar 132 kV transmission line.

If the tower falls off then the demand of Kathmandu will not be met and obligatory load shedding will follow while the electricity generated from the hydroelectricity projects will go into waste.

Karnali Province govt to built 1 MW solar plant in Jumla

Minister for Internal Affairs and Law, Karnali Province, Naresh Bhandari has said that all preparations have been completed to install a solar plant in Jumla. “We will be able to distribute energy generated by the plant in Khalanga within six months. The plant will supply electricity to Khalanga and surrounding areas till Jumla is connected to a national electricity grid,” he said.

A technical team of the company has already conducted a needful study to install the solar plant in Khalanga. Similarly, a technical team of APC is visiting Jumla again to finalize the detailed project report of the plant.


(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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