The country has lost equivalent to around a quarter of the budget in a year — since last September to this August — due to bandhs, despite the commitment by major political parties to not support bandhs that have hit the economy hard for the last one decade.
The country has lost over Rs 120 billion — one third of the budget which stood at Rs 384.90 billion for the last fiscal year — in the last one year with 80 days of bandhs, according to Liveable Nepal.
The country has to bear a loss of Rs 1.5 billion in a single day of bandh, according to data of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Bandhs — the most binding constraint to business growth — has hit the far western region hard as the region witnessed the most number of bandhs, according to the data that revealed that the region witnessed around 30 per cent of the total bandhs, followed by the central region that saw 27 per cent and mid-western region that saw 17 per cent of the total bandhs in the country. Similarly, the eastern and western regions saw 14 per cent and 12 per cent of total bandhs, respectively.
Unlike a year ago, when the country witnessed the most number of bandhs in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur — eastern region, last year Kanchanpur and Kailali — mid-western and far-western districts — witnessed the most number of bandhs, according to figures.
Like earlier years, political issues have been the key reason behind most of the bandhs followed by protests due to deaths and accidents. "Some 61 per cent of the bandhs was due to political reasons," the data pointed out, adding that bandhs protesting deaths and accidents accounted for 23 per cent, whereas bandhs due to other reasons accounted for 16 per cent.
Until and unless there is economic freedom to safety of life and property, proper and effective implementation of the rule of law, and freedom to enterprise and participation in a profession of one's own choice, a country cannot develop.
Political parties after much pressure from the public had committed not to call bandhs but have repeatedly broken their promise forcing people to close their businesses and having their properties damaged.
Among the political parties, Samyukta Loktantrik Paribes, Far Western Ekta Saamaj, and Tharuhatt Struggle Committee are the top three political parties that have called for the highest number of bandhs dearly hurting the economy.