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Economic Digest: Nepal’s Business News in a Snap

12 June 2024  

Time taken to read : 7 Minute

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KATHMANDU: Economic Digest offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of significant business happenings in Nepal, presented in easily digestible summaries.

Tuesday witnessed some significant developments in the economic front in the country.

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) filed corruption charges against six individuals, including Bharat Kumar Thapa, Mayor of Bagmati Municipality in Sarlahi.

Furthermore, it was reported that 45.16 percent of the population in Koshi Province now has access to insurance.

Starting July 1, individuals applying for a driving license will need to present their national identity card.

Allegations emerged regarding Ncell evading taxes worth billions under the guise of marketing expenses.

Additionally, the government is preparing to pass the budget for the next fiscal year on June 21 in the House of Representatives.

On a positive note, the Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) crossed 2100 points on Tuesday.

NEPSE increases by 33.15 points, all sector indices go green on Tuesday

The Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) index, a barometer of the secondary securities market, rose by 33.15 points on Tuesday, closing at 2115.24 points.

With this significant increase, all sector indices turned green. Compared to Monday, NEPSE experienced a 1.69 percent rise.

According to NEPSE, shares worth Rs 5.55 billion were traded on Tuesday, up from Rs 5.49 billion on Monday.

On this day, the share prices of 203 companies increased, while 41 companies saw a decline in their share prices. The share prices of Asian Hydropower and Dordi Khola Hydropower remained unchanged.

On Tuesday, the share prices of Barun Hydropower, Green Ventures, Kutheli Bukhari Small Hydropower, and Bhagwati Hydropower Development Company Limited increased by 10 percent.

45 percent of Koshi’s population has access to insurance

Insurance coverage has reached 45.16 percent of the population in Koshi Province, according to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

The NRB also highlights that, out of 11,594 branches of banks and financial institutions across the country, only 16.06 percent, or 1,862 branches, are located in Koshi Province.

Furthermore, Koshi Province holds 7.13 percent of the total deposits in banks and financial institutions. Additionally, 11.26 percent of the total loans have been extended within Koshi Province.

According to Nepal Rastra Bank, the entire banking system has mobilized deposits amounting to NPR 61 trillion 87 billion and extended loans totaling NPR 50 trillion 84 billion.

Ncell suspected of evading billions in advertising expenses

Ncell is suspected of evading taxes worth billions of rupees on marketing expenses. The annual report of the Auditor General’s Office points out that Ncell may have evaded taxes by categorizing expenses of the same nature under different headings.

It has been learned that Ncell claimed double expenses by listing marketing costs under four different headings. The 61st report of the General Account states that in the fiscal years 2077/78 and 2078/79, Ncell claimed double the marketing expenses, and the corresponding tax and interest should be determined.

Driving license holders can use National ID Card as license from July 16

Starting July 16, those with a driving license can use their National Identity Card (ID) as their license.

The government is working on integrating driving license details into the National ID Card, according to the Department of Transport Management.

Uddav Prasad Rijal, the Director General at the department, stated that the process of including driving license details in the National ID Card will be completed in a day or two.

Rijal also informed that the government will stop issuing separate driving licenses from July 16.

Government prepares to pass budget on June 21

The government is set to endorse the budget for the upcoming fiscal year on June 21.

According to the schedule prepared by the Federal Parliament Secretariat, the budget will be passed on the stipulated date.

Finance Minister Barsaman Pun presented the budget of Rs 1.86 trillion on May 28. The government is currently engaged in ministry-wise discussions of the Appropriation Bill.

Nepali gold market stagnates

On Tuesday, the Nepali gold market experienced a standstill as prices remained unchanged. According to the Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association, fine gold held steady at Rs 141,000 per tola, while standard gold maintained its value at Rs 140,300 per tola.

This stability highlighted the meticulous control exercised by the Federation over domestic gold and silver prices, which were closely tied to international market trends.

However, such stability prompted critical scrutiny regarding the factors that governed these fixed rates amidst the dynamic forces of global economic shifts and local demand-supply dynamics.

The consistent pricing strategy raised questions about market competitiveness, the efficacy of regulatory measures, and the potential implications for investors and consumers alike.

Foreign currency exchange rates

Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has fixed the foreign currency exchange rate for today (Wednesday).

As the exchange rates of the US dollar, Qatari riyal, and British pound increased, the Euro fell modestly.

The buying rate for one US dollar has reached Rs 133.41, with a selling rate of Rs 134.01. This increase suggests a strengthening of the US dollar against the Nepalese rupee.

The rise in the USD exchange rate could be influenced by several factors, including higher demand for the US dollar in international markets, economic policies in the United States, or changes in global trade dynamics.

Similarly, the buying rate of one Euro has been fixed at Rs 143.19, and the selling rate is Rs 143.83. The buying rate of one British pound is Rs 169.96, and the selling rate is Rs 170.73. According to Nepal Rastra Bank, the buying rate of one Qatari riyal is Rs 36.59, and the selling rate is Rs 36.75.

Overall, while the strengthening of certain currencies presents opportunities for increased remittances and tourism, it also poses challenges for importers and the broader economy due to higher import costs.

(Compiled and prepared by Srija Khanal)

Economic Digest is a daily morning economic digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news, and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.

Publish Date : 12 June 2024 08:17 AM

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