Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel. (File photo/Khabarhub)
KATHMANDU: Minister for Finance Bishnu Prasad Poudel has admitted that the second wave of coronavirus has posed a serious threat to the financial future of the country.
Addressing an informal meeting of the SAARC Finance Ministers virtually today, Minister Poudel said, “We have faced obstacles to achieving financial growth due to the multifaceted effects of Covid-19 in inclusive and sustainable development.”
In the virtual meeting held on the sidelines of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Poudel reiterated that although utmost efforts were made to take the situation under control by uplifting the economy, the economy of Nepal painted a grim picture.
Stating that the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 had caused a huge setback to the economy of Nepal, Minister Poudel said that the tourism sector and other service sectors were hardest hit by the pandemic.
The adverse effects of Covid-19 were reflected in the cut down in jobs, lay-offs of the employees, loss in business among others, argue the Minister adding that Covid-19 had posed challenges for efforts aimed at promoting inclusiveness, human development, and alleviating poverty.
Pressing for the need to ensure that every individual across the world was safe, the Minister expressed his confidence that vaccines against Covid-19 would be understood by one and all as an inevitable tool to protect the lives of people at the time of health crises like this.
He also viewed that it was imperative to ensure that all the countries had access to procure the vaccines against the Coronavirus. On the occasion, he extended gratefulness towards the government of India for providing vaccines against Covid-19 and said that it had enabled the launching of a vaccination drive in the SAARC region.
He pressed for formulating policies and strategies by all the SAARC-member nations to cushion the effects of Covid-19 on the SAARC region’s economy and to promote local produce in the developing nations of the region.
In the meeting chaired by Minister Poudel, Poudel extended his thankfulness to the ADB for its financial and technical support to Nepal in its covid-19 response and economic promotion efforts.
The SAARC Finance Ministers and delegates had univocally underscored the need for mutual cooperation for socio-economic recovery to cushion the effect of Covid-19 on the economy of the SAARC region. RSS