Despite fixing the maximum retail price, the government has failed to tame the market as prices are continuously looking up, burning a hole in the pockets of the common people.
"The year-on-year inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) registered a double digit growth of 10.5 per cent in the fourth month (mid-November) of the current fiscal year against 8.5 per cent in the same period last fiscal year," according to the central bank.
Indices of both food and beverages group, and non-food and services group, witnessed an increase by 8.9 per cent and 11.7 per cent, respectively, against 8.4 per cent and 8.5 per cent, in the same period last fiscal year, the central bank data revealed, adding that the price index of ghee and oil sub-group increased by the highest rate of 20.5 per cent.
Likewise, government apathy towards export promotion has hit the external sector too as trade deficit increased to Rs 152.38 billion in the four months. The country witnessed merchandise exports of Rs 26.46 billion in the first four months as against Rs 23.69 billion during the same period of last fiscal year. However, merchandise imports surged by 32 per cent to Rs 178.84 billion as compared to Rs 135.49 billion during the same period last fiscal year. "Due to the high growth of imports, the ratio of export to import stood at 14.8 per cent," it said.
But increasing imports have helped revenue surge. "The government was able to mobilise Rs 78.03 billion — some 30.2 per cent growth as compared to the same period last fiscal, when it had been able to mobilise Rs 59.92 billion — due to growing imports," the data revealed. "But government expenditure stood at only Rs 70.38 billion, making a budget surplus of Rs 6.34 by mid-November."
Similarly, the Balance of Payments (BoP) surplus also plunged to Rs 140.7 million — as compared to a surplus of Rs 46.31 billion during the same period last fiscal year — due to current account deficit that stood at Rs 1.77 billion in contrast to a surplus of Rs 20.73 billion in the same period last fiscal.
"The deficit in the current account was primarily due to a substantial rise in the imports of merchandise, the deficit in the net services income compared to a surplus in the corresponding period in the previous year, and the slow growth of workers' remittance in the review period," it said, adding that net transfers registered a growth of 20.4 per cent to Rs 143.94 billion.
"Under transfers, workers’ remittance surged by 23.4 per cent to Rs 127.35 billion. Under financial account, the country saw foreign direct investment of Rs 2.64 billion."
The gross foreign exchange (forex) reserves increased by 0.7 per cent to Rs 442.33 billion in mid-November from a level of Rs 439.46 billion as at mid-July. The forex reserves had increased by 25.9 per cent to Rs 342.74 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.
Likewise, foreign cash loan and grants also halved as compared to the same period last fiscal year. "The government received foreign cash loans of Rs 0.70 billion and foreign cash grants of Rs 4.59 billion in the four months of the current fiscal year as compared to Rs 1.55 billion foreign cash loans and Rs 11.52 billion foreign cash grants in the same period of last fiscal year," it added.
Deposit mobilisation slows downKATHMANDU: Deposit mobilisation of banks and financial institutions increased by only 2.9 per cent (Rs 29.24 billion) during the first four months of the current fiscal year as compared to an increase of 6.6 per cent (Rs 54.57 billion) in the same period last fiscal year. Among them, commercial banks are the losers as their deposit mobilisation has decreased dramatically. "Deposit mobilisation of commercial banks, development banks and finance companies increased by 1.7 per cent, 5.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively, against an increase of 7.6 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent in the same period last fiscal year, the central bank said.