Nepal Economic Digest (Sept 25, 2020)


September 25, 2020


Nepal Economic Digest (Sept 25, 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.

India hands over NPR 1.54 billion to Nepal towards post-earthquake reconstruction assistance

Namgya Khampa, Deputy Chief of Mission of Embassy of India, handed over cheques worth NPR 1.54 billion (about INR 96 crore) to Sishir Kumar Dhungana, Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Nepal towards housing & school sector assistance under Government of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction commitment.

India has committed US$ 150 million in grant and Line of Credit towards housing sector projects supported by the Government of India.

With this handover, India has reimbursed about USD 72 million from grant to Government of Nepal for housing sector reconstruction, a statement issued by the Embassy of Indian in Kathmandu, said.

Out of Government of India’s commitment to rebuild 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, 92% of the houses have been completed.

Similarly, Government of India has committed support for reconstruction of 70 schools and 1 library under US$ 50 million grant assistance.

Out of this, the first tranche of USD 4.2 million for ongoing schools was reimbursed to Government of Nepal.

China playing foul in opening Rasuwagadhi checkpoint; Is it imposing ‘undeclared’ blockade on Nepal?

While India has been allowing goods-loaded trucks to enter Nepal, China has shown reluctance to open the Rasuwagadhi checkpoint citing the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, Nepali entrepreneurs are losing billions of rupees. However, it allowed a container carrying medical supplies on Wednesday, and has said it would allow five containers to enter Nepal from Thursday, which means that it will take at least six months for all the 1,000 trucks to enter Nepal.

“This shows that China is trying to impose undeclared blockade in Nepal,” a trader, whose goods have been at the checkpoint told Khabarhub insisting anonymity.

Nepali entrepreneurs term China’s reluctance to open the entry points as “unfortunate” at a time when great festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhat are approaching.

This means that China is trying to create unwarranted pressure on Nepal, observers say. China has not allowed containers to enter Nepal at a time when India has been flexible enough to allow entry of Nepali trucks.

Energy Ministry holds meeting after Kathmanduities face undeclared power-cuts

Consumers in Kathmandu’s Budhanilkantha Municipality have been facing regular power cuts in the last several days.

On Thursday, there was no electricity from 6 am to 12 noon in the municipality. This is just a representative case. Kathmanduites have been facing power cuts these days as they have been complaining of what they say “unannounced” load shedding.

Similarly, in the last one week, different places in Lalitpur have load-shedding for more than 10 hours for three days as they link the issue of power cuts with the vacant post of Managing Director at the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) after the completion of the tenure of the then MD Kulman Ghising.

The Ministry of Energy says there is no point in linking the power outage with Ghising’s completion of tenure. Lekhnath Koirala, acting executive director of NEA, said that there were some problems in power due to falling of the poles, trees and landslides.

“It is natural to have power outages for a while due to various problems such as rains and strong winds. It is not appropriate to connect it with any person,” Koirala said.

Cooperatives help rural farmers sell their products during lockdown

Cooperatives have played a notable role in bringing farm products from the rural to the urban areas, which helped maintain the supply and price stability of the essentials in the market, said the stakeholders of the sector.

Cooperatives, organizations working at the community level, have played a great role in easing the livelihoods of the people at local level.

Their role is considered even more vital mainly during crises that cripple the daily activities of the people.

According to a report of the International Labour Organisation, many cooperatives from around the world have been able to create new jobs mainly in the retail stores to address the demand in the sector in a number of countries.

Similarly, cooperatives have also played a key role in protecting small farmers’ food production and keeping the food value chain alive, which has helped reduce the risk of inflated food prices globally.

In addition, cooperatives have also played a significant role in the production of much-needed supplies like hand sanitizers and face masks to distribute them in high-risk populations at the grassroot level.

FDI commits in Nepal’s tourism sector amounts Rs 5.35 billion

The Foreign direct investments (FDI) worth around Rs 5.50 billion has been pledged in tourism businesses of Nepal in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

This positive development comes even as this sector is hit hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic effect.

According to the Department of Industry, the FDI commitment in the tourism sector that Nepal received during mid-July and mid-September is almost similar to that of the review period last year.

Of the total amount pledged in tourism, Chinese investors looked for pouring Rs 5.35 billion, largest of all.

They have proposed to open 30 hotels and restaurants and to provide jobs to 618 people.

China has been topping in FDI pledges to Nepal, particularly in the tourism businesses, for the last few years.

With an increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal in the recent year, the investors from northern neighbors have been showing interest in opening hotels and restaurants mainly in Kathmandu Valley, Chitwan and Pokhara.

Compiled and prepared by Nitish Lal Shrestha)

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.

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