Risk remains in economy, private sector should also be responsible’: Dr. Yuvraj Khatiwada, Former Finance Minister

    Kathmandu. Former Finance Minister Dr. Yuvaraj Khatiwada said that imports have skyrocketed due to structural problems in the economy.

    At the same time, he has commented that the state of risk remains in the economy.

    Addressing the program on the current economic situation of Nepal and its challenges and solutions organized by the Youth Chamber, a sister organization of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce, in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Khatiwada said so.

    The Chamber’s sister organization, the Youth Chamber, organized programs on the current economic situation in Nepal and its challenges and solutions.

    Participants in the program have pointed out that export promotion and import should be made systematic.

    In the program, Dr. Khatiwada said the main reason for the economy not getting back on track was policy instability.

    Khatiwada stressed on the need for effective coordination between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply and the National Bank on the issue of import discouragement and export promotion. “There are structural problems in the economy,” he said.

    Goods and services of all sectors from agriculture, roads to hydropower have to be imported. Business management has not been effective.

    He suggested that short-term and long-term policies should be formulated to reduce imports and promote exports.

    Stating that there is still a risky situation in the country’s economy, he said that the time has come for the government to exercise restraint.

    According to Dr. Khatiwada, rumors of price rise along with shortage of consumer goods have created unnecessary panic in the market.

    Khatiwada said that the private sector should also be responsible for occupying an important part of the country’s economy.

    He emphasized on the need to bring real estate business under the tax net.

    Khatiwada also said that stopping unnecessary foreign exchange, money laundering and foreign travel of Nepalis in education to some extent would have a positive impact on foreign exchange reserves.

    He said that they have been urging to manage the imports without controlling them.

    He said that although the economy is not in a favorable condition, it wants to see 5.8 percent economic growth in practice as positive signs have been seen recently.

    Speaking on the occasion, Deepak Shrestha, vice-chairman of the chamber, argued that the government has stopped the import of goods from Hachuwa.

    “The government should decide on which goods to import and which not to do only after studying with the private sector,” Shrestha said.

    Stating that they are not against the private sector, he said that the government has decided not to affect the import in the long run.

    Chairman of the Youth Chamber, Dipesh Ratna Tuladhar, said that they were trying to draw the attention of the government and stakeholders as there was pressure on all sectors of the economy at once.

    Govinda Bahadur Karki, joint secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, clarified that the import of luxury goods was controlled after the foreign exchange reserves began to be affected. However, he said it was short-lived.

    Economist Bishwas Gauchan, Chief Executive Officer of NMB Bank Sunil Kumar KC and others said that it was short-lived despite some pressure on the country’s economy.

    He said the government had stopped imports of some items to reduce trade deficit and encourage domestic production.

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