Monday, October 30, 2023

Conflict in Middle East could bring ‘Dual Shock’ to global commodity markets

Although the global economy is in a much better position than it was in the 1970s to cope with a major oil-price shock, an escalation of the latest conflict in the Middle East—which comes on top of disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine—could push global commodity markets into uncharted waters, according to the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook.

The report provides a preliminary assessment of the potential near-term implications of the conflict for commodity markets. It finds that the effects should be limited, if the conflict doesn’t widen. Under the World Bank’s baseline forecast, oil prices are expected to average $90-a- barrel in the current quarter before declining to an average of $81-a-barrel next year as global economic growth slows. Overall commodity prices are projected to fall 4.1% next year. Prices of agricultural commodities are expected to decline next year as supplies rise. Prices of base metals are also projected to drop by 5 per cent in 2024. Commodity prices are expected to stabilise in 2025.

The conflict’s effects on global commodity markets have been limited so far. Overall oil prices have risen about 6 per cent since the start of the conflict. Prices of agricultural commodities, most metals, and other commodities have barely budged, the report reads.

The outlook for commodity prices would darken quickly if the conflict were to escalate. The report outlines what might happen under three risk scenarios based on historical experience since the 1970s. The effects would depend on the degree of disruption to oil supplies. In a 'small disruption' scenario, the global oil supply would be reduced by 500,000 to 2 million barrels per day—roughly equivalent to the reduction seen during the Libyan civil war in 2011. Under this scenario, the oil price would initially increase between 3 per cent and 13 per cent relative to the average for the current quarter—-to a range of $93 to $102 a barrel.

In a 'medium disruption' scenario—roughly equivalent to the Iraq war in 2003—the global oil supply would be curtailed by 3 million to 5 million barrels per day. That would drive oil prices up by 21 per cent to 35 per cent initially—to between $109 and $121 a barrel. In a 'large disruption' scenario—comparable to the Arab oil embargo in 1973— the global oil supply would shrink by 6 million to 8 million barrels per day. That would drive prices up by 56 per cent to 75 per cent initially—to between $140 and $157 a barrel.

“The latest conflict in the Middle East comes on the heels of the biggest shock to commodity markets since the 1970s—Russia’s war with Ukraine,” said the World Bank’s chief economist and senior vice president for Development Economics Indermit Gill. "That had disruptive effects on the global economy that persist to this day. Policymakers will need to be vigilant. If the conflict were to escalate, the global economy would face a dual energy shock for the first time in decades—not just from the war in Ukraine but also from the Middle East.”

“Higher oil prices, if sustained, inevitably mean higher food prices,” said the World Bank’s deputy chief economist and director of the Prospects Group Ayhan Kose. “If a severe oil-price shock materializes, it would push up food price inflation that has already been elevated in many developing countries. At the end of 2022, more than 700 million people—nearly a tenth of the global population—were undernourished. An escalation of the latest conflict would intensify food insecurity, not only within the region but also across the world.”

The fact that the conflict has so far had only modest impacts on commodity prices may reflect the global economy’s improved ability to absorb oil price shocks. Since the energy crisis of the 1970s, the report reads, countries across the world have bolstered their defenses against such shocks. They have reduced their dependence on oil—the amount of oil needed to generate $1 of GDP has fallen by more than half since 1970. They have a more diversified base of oil exporters and expanded energy resources, including renewable sources. Some countries have established strategic petroleum reserves, set up arrangements for the coordination of supply, and developed futures markets to mitigate the impact of oil shortages on prices. These improvements suggest that an escalation of the conflict might have more moderate effects than would have been the case in the past.

Policymakers nevertheless need to remain alert, the report says. Some commodities—gold in particular—are flashing a warning about the outlook. Gold prices have risen about 8% since the onset of the conflict. Gold prices have a unique relationship to geopolitical concerns: they rise in periods of conflict and uncertainty often signaling an erosion of investor confidence.

If the conflict escalates, policymakers in developing countries will need to take steps to manage a potential increase in headline inflation. Given the risk of greater food insecurity, governments should avoid trade restrictions such as export bans on food and fertilizer. Such measures often intensify price volatility and heighten food insecurity. They should also refrain from introducing price controls and price subsidies in response to higher food and oil prices. A better option is to improve social safety nets, diversify food sources, and increase efficiency in food production and trade. In the longer term, all countries can bolster their energy security by accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources—which will mitigate the effects of oil-price shocks.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

प्रधानमन्त्रीलाई खुलापत्रः र्‍याडिकल रिफर्मको नाममा राज्यका संयन्त्रलाई पंगु बनाउँदा राष्ट्र नै असफल बन्ने खतरा

सम्माननीय प्रधानमन्त्रीज्यू !

नेपाल उद्योग वाणिज्य महासंघको आयोजनामा बिहीबार आयोजित सुधारका लागि सहकार्यः राष्ट्रिय आर्थिक बहसमा देशभरका उद्योगी व्यवसायीले नेपालमा उद्योग व्यवसाय गर्दा भएका समस्या तथा उद्यमशीलता मर्न लागेका बारेमा प्रश्न सोध्नेछन् । र, देशको कार्यकारीको हैसियतले तपाईंले उनीहरुका जायज प्रश्नका उत्तर दिनुहुनेछ, पीडामा मलम लगाउनुहुनेछ र बहस सार्थक हुनेछ भन्ने अपेक्षासहित पुगेको थिएँ ।

तर, कार्यक्रममा तपाईंले आफ्नो समापन मन्तव्यमा अर्को राजनीतिक कार्यक्रममा जानुपर्ने भएकाले यस राष्ट्रिय आर्थिक बहसमा समय दिन नसकेकोमा दु:ख व्यक्त गर्नुभयो । यसबाट देशको प्रमुख कार्यकारी प्रधानमन्त्रीको हैसियतमा तपाईंका प्राथमिकता अझै पनि अर्थतन्त्र नभएर राजनीति मात्र रहेको म लगायत हलमा उपस्थित सबै सहभागीले महसुस गरे ।

अझै सत्ताकै वरिपरि घुम्ने, राजनीति गर्ने तर जनताको दैनन्दिन सुधार्ने र अर्थतन्त्रमा ध्यान नदिने हो भने अनि व्यवस्था परिवर्तनको प्रतिफल पनि केही मुठ्ठीभरले मात्रै पाइरहने हो भने निश्चित रुपमा भन्नैपर्छ, तपाईं बालुवाटारमा बस्नुको कुनै अर्थ छैन । हिजो बालुवाटारमा अरु कोही थिए, भोलि अरु नै कोही हुनेछन् । यो नियमितताका लागि १७ हजार नेपालीको बलिदान आवश्यक थिएन ।

२०७२ सालमा संघीय गणतन्त्र नेपालको संविधान जारी भएपछि तथा त्यसअघि पनि पटक-पटक तपाईंहरुले भन्ने गरेको नेपालमा दशकौंदेखि थाँती रहेको राजनीतिक एजेन्डा सकिएको अब आर्थिक क्रान्ति हुने आश्वासनको एक दशक पनि नपुग्दै अवसान हुनु यो देशको दुर्भाग्य नै हो ।

संघीयता प्रजातन्त्रको उच्चतम् अभ्यास हो तर संघीयताको सञ्चालनमा तपाईंहरुका साम्यवादी केन्द्रीयताको गन्ध आउँदा पनि नेपालीले आर्थिक कायापलट हुने आशामा तपाईंका राजनीतिलाई टुलुटुलु हेरेर चित्त बुझाएका थिए । तर, आज अर्थतन्त्र मन्दीउन्मुख हुँदा पनि तपाईं त्यसलाई आफ्नो राजनीतिक फाइदाका लागि प्रयोग गर्न उद्यत हुनुले आर्थिक क्रान्तिको नारा सिर्फ देखावटी हो भन्ने स्पष्ट पारेको छ ।

अझ स्पष्ट शब्दमा भन्दा कार्यक्रममा प्रस्तुतीकरण दिने प्रा. डा. अच्युत वाग्लेको भनाइ सापट लिने हो भने तपाईंहरु क्रोनी क्यापिटलिज्मको (आसेपासे पुँजीवाद) प्रवर्धन गर्दै हुनुहुन्छ ।

वर्षौंदेखि केही मुठ्ठीभरले गरेको राज्यस्रोतमाथिको दोहन रोकेर मुलुकको आर्थिक कायापलट गर्न तपाईंहरुकै भाषामा भएको दसवर्षे जनयुद्धको रापताप सकिएका कारण अब आसेपासे पुँजीवाद प्रवर्धनमार्फत आफ्नो राजनीति सुरक्षित बनाउन नै राष्ट्रिय आर्थिक बहस आयोजना गरिएको पो हो कि भन्ने धेरै सहभागीको गुनासो रहेको पनि यहाँलाई अवगत गराउन चाहन्छु ।

सम्माननीय प्रधानमन्त्रीज्यू !

मुलुक परिवर्तनका लागि व्यवस्था परिवर्तन कि अवस्था परिवर्तन भन्ने प्रश्न ज्वाज्वल्यमान भएका बेला, अर्थतन्त्र मन्दीउन्मुख भएको मौका पाएर प्रतिगामी शक्तिहरुले चलखेल सुरु गरेका बेला तपाईंको प्राथमिकता अझै राजनीति मात्र देख्दा, बुझ्दा अनि सुन्दा ममात्र होइन समग्र निजी क्षेत्र अनि मुलुक नै दु:खी भएका छौं ।

आजको बृहत् बहस कार्यक्रममा उपस्थित निजी क्षेत्रलाई तपाईंले भन्न सक्नुपर्थ्यो कि तपाईंहरुका समस्या के छन् ? कुन मन्त्रालय वा विभागले के-के गर्नुपर्ने हो ? त्यो बुँदागत लेखेर दिनुहोस्, कार्यानवयनका लागि निश्चित समय तालिका सार्वजनिक गरेर ताकेता गर्छु । तर विडम्बना तपाईंले त्यसो गर्नु भएन । उच्च स्तरीय संयन्त्र बनाएर अर्थतन्त्रमाथि राजनीति गर्नु भयो । जुन कदम देशको कार्यकारीबाट अपेक्षित थिएन ।

वास्तवमा, दुई घण्टे राष्ट्रिय आर्थिक बहसले आजको अर्थतन्त्रको समस्या समाधान हुँदैन । किनकि, आज नेपाली अर्थतन्त्रले भोगेको समस्या रातारात आएको होइन । यसलाई बुझ्न अर्थशास्त्री पनि हुनु पर्दैन । नेपालमा लामो कालखण्डसम्म राज्यशक्तिको बलमा एकथरीले राज्यको स्रोतमाथि दोहन गरे, अरु आर्थिक क्रियाकलापमा सहभागी हुन पाएनन् । जसबाट मुठ्ठीभर सम्पन्न भए बाँकी जनसंख्या गरिब नै रहे ।

२०४६ सालको जनआन्दोलनपछिको एउटा कालखण्डमा सबै नेपालीले आर्थिक स्वतन्त्रताको भरपुर उपभोग गर्न पाए, जसका कारण नेपालमा केही उद्यमशीलता विकास भयो । उद्योग कलकारखाना खुले, रोजगारी सिर्जना भयो । हो, आर्थिक स्वतन्त्रतासँगै आएका केही चुनौतीको समाधान खोज्न तत्कालको सरकार चुकेको थियो, त्यसमा छ्ट्टै छलफल गर्न सकिन्छ । तर पनि आर्थिक स्वतन्त्रतासँगै अर्थतन्त्रले समातेको गतिका कारण आजसम्म पनि नेपाल असफल राष्ट्र हुनु परेको छैन ।

तर, सम्माननीय प्रधानमन्त्रीज्यू !

आज तपाईंको मन्तव्य सुनेपछि भने मलाई अर्थतन्त्र मन्दीउन्मुख भएको चिन्ताभन्दा पनि नेपाल नै असफल राष्ट्र हुन्छ कि भन्ने डर लागेको छ । किनकि, अर्थतन्त्र सुधार गर्न उच्चस्तरीय संयन्त्र बनाएर ‘र्‍याडिकल रिफर्म’ गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने तपाईंको भनाइले राज्यका संयन्त्रलाई पंगु बनाएर असफल राष्ट्रउन्मुख बनाउने बाटोमा तपाईंलाई कसैले मिस गाइड त गरेको छैन भन्ने शंका छ ।

देशले अर्बौं लगानी गरेका उद्योग मन्त्रालयको कुनै काम छैन, अर्थ मन्त्रालयको पनि काम छैन, कृषि, भूमिसुधार, सहरी विकास, ऊर्जा, भौतिक योजना मन्त्रालय कसैको पनि काम छैन । राष्ट्र बैंकको पनि काम छैन । धितोपत्र बोर्ड र बिमा समितिको त काम हुने कुरै भएन । राजस्व अनुसन्धान विभाग र सम्पत्ति शुद्धीकरण अनुसन्धान विभागलाई तपाईंकै मित्र तत्कालीन नेकपाका अध्यक्ष केपी शर्मा ओलीले नै आफ्नो मातहत राखेर निजी क्षेत्रमा आतंक सिर्जना गरेको तपाईं स्वयंले देखिसक्नुभएको छ ।

अर्थतन्त्र सुधारका नाममा राज्यले लगानी गरेका संयन्त्रलाई पंगु बनाएर उच्चस्तरीय संयन्त्रको नाममा तपाईंमार्फत नेपाललाई असफल राष्ट्र बनाउने योजनामा तपाईं जानी-नजानी फस्नुभएको त होइन ?

निश्चितरुपमा, ती संस्थाहरु नेपालको आजको हाम्रो अर्थतन्त्रलाई आमूल रुपान्तरण गर्न सहयोगी छैनन् । तर, यसको अर्थ तिनको कामै छैन भन्ने पनि होइन । राज्यको लगानी परेका ती संस्थालाई समयानुकूल ऐन, कानुन, नीति, नियम बनाएर क्षमता अभिवृद्धि गर्ने काम त राज्यकै हो । यस अर्थमा देशको प्रमुख कार्यकारीको हैसियतले तपाईंकै हो । यतातिर तपाईंको ध्यान जानुपर्ने हो ।

तर, ती संस्थालाई समयानुकूल ऐन, कानुन, नीति, नियम बनाएर क्षमता अभिवृद्धि गरेर बलियो बनाउनुको सट्टा पंगु बनाएर राज्यलाई असफल बनाउने खेलमा प्रमुख कार्यकारीको हैसियतले तपाईं सहभागी हुँदा देशले लामो कालखण्डसम्म त्यसको नकारात्मक असर भोग्नुपर्ने हुन्छ ।

त्यसैले नेपाल उद्योग वाणिज्य महासंघकै आयोजनामा अर्थ, उद्योग, कानुनलगायत अर्थतन्त्रसँग प्रत्यक्ष सम्बन्ध भएका मन्त्री र सचिवलाई अगाडि राखेर सम्पूर्ण निजी क्षेत्रलाई बोलाएर दुई घण्टे होइन, दुई, तीन, चार दिन रात जति लाग्छ, सार्थक र गम्भीर छलफल, बहस गर्नुहोस् ।

तर, त्यो बहसबाट बाहिर निस्कँदा तपाईंलाई म यो देशको कार्यकारी प्रमुख हुँ र म यो देशलाई आर्थिक समृद्धिको बाटोमा हाँक्न योग्य छु भन्ने तपाईंलाई पनि लागोस् ।

सम्माननीय प्रधानमन्त्रीज्यू !

हामी निरीह प्रधानमन्त्री होइन, नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रमा देखिएका समस्या समाधान गर्न सक्ने तपाईंकै भाषामा ‘र्‍याडिकल रिफर्म’ गर्न सक्ने र ऐन, कानुन, नीति, नियमलाई समयानूकुल बनाएर राज्य संयन्त्र र प्रणालीलाई बलियो बनाएर समस्या समाधान गर्नसक्ने प्रधानमन्त्री चाहन्छौं ।

हामी समृद्धिको उदाहरण दिनुपर्दा युरोप, अमेरिकालगायतको दिने गर्छौं । स्मरण रहोस्, ती देशमा व्यक्तिले भन्दा बढी सिस्टमले काम गर्छ ।

र, त्यहाँ रातारात सिस्टम बसेको होइन । हामीले भोगेजस्ता कयौं समस्या ती देशले पनि कुनै कालखण्डमा भोगेका थिए । त्यसबाट पाठ सिकेर उनीहरुले प्रणाली-प्रधान राज्यका रुपमा आफूलाई रुपान्तरण गरेका कारण आज उनीहरु उदाहरणीय देश भएका हुन् ।

त्यसैले लोकतान्त्रिक प्रणालीलाई सफल बनाउन पनि कार्यकारी प्रमुख होइन कि राज्यका संयन्त्रहरु बलियो र सिस्टममा चल्ने हुनुपर्छ । निजी क्षेत्रको प्रस्तावमा तपाईंले गठन गर्ने प्रतिबद्धता जनाउनुभएको उच्चस्तरीय संयन्त्रले राज्यका संयन्त्रलाई कमजोरमात्रै बनाउँदैन, वर्षौं लगाएर विकास गर्न खोजिएको प्रणालीलाई ध्वस्त पनि बनाउँछ । प्रणाली नै ध्वस्त बनेपछि कहाँबाट हुन्छ आर्थिक सुधार र समृद्धि ?

आगे तपाईंको जो मर्जी ।

कुबेर चालिसे

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Nepal, Germany sign labour agreement

Nepal and Germany today signed a joint declaration of intent (DoI) on Skilled Labour Migration and Knowledge Exchange.

During the signing ceremony at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany, minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Sharat Singh Bhandari and State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany Leonie Gebers were present, according to a press note issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Berlin, Germany.

Nepal's ambassador to Gremany Ram Kaji Khadka and director at the lnternational Affairs, German Federal Employment Agency Michael van der Cammen signed the JDol, on behalf of their respective governments in the presence of Nepal's visiting delegation led by the minister Bhandari.

The signing of the JDol was preceded by a bilateral meeting between the high-level Nepali delegation led by minister Bhandari and the high-level German delegation led by State Secretary (Deputy Minister).

On the occasion, the leaders of two delegations shared views, primarily, on the agenda of Nepal-Germany bilateral relations, skilled labour migration, Nepal's commitment to legal migration, workers' welfare and social security, German language and vocational training, and circular migration.

During the meeting, the two leaders expressed happiness over the growing relations between the two countries in recent years and stated that the signing of the JDol would be the first step in the roadmap towards fair and legal labour migration from Nepal to Germany. 

Bhandari, on the occasion, also expressed Nepal's willingness to collaborate with the friendly Government of Germany in all sectors of mutual benefits.

Likewise, Gebers also stated that the signing of the JDol would open the way forward for institutional arrangement in immigrating Nepali skilled workers as per the need of the German job market. She also highlighted the positive sides of the recent German Skilled lmmigration Act which has eased the process of recruiting foreign skilled workers in Germany.

The Nepali delegation being led by the minister included secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security Kewal Prasad Bhandari, ambassador of Nepal to Germany Ram Kaji Khadka, and other officials from the Labour Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Embassy of Nepal in Berlin.

The German delegation led by Gebers included the high-level officials from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Federal Employment Agency and other relevant Departments of Germany.

Likewise, the Nepali delegation yesterday held discussions with the delegation of lnternational Labour Organisation (lLO) Berlin Bureau led by Dr Annette Niederfranke, Director at the Embassy of Nepal in Berlin.

During the meeting, various labour related issues including welfare of workers, measures against the exploitation and trafficking of workers, inclusive foreign employment and reintegration of migrant workers in the county of origin were discussed. ln the afternoon, the Nepali delegation participated in an interaction programme with the Nepali diaspora living in Germany organised by the Embassy.

The Nepali delegation is holding a meeting with the representatives of private sectors of Germany on Wednesday (tomorrow), and the visiting delegation is scheduled to leave Germany for Nepal on Thursday.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

निजी क्षेत्रले सामूहिक लगानी कोष ल्याउँदै, अर्थतन्त्र चलायमान बनाउन मद्दत गर्ला ?

अर्थतन्त्रमा निराशा छाएको बेला नेपाल उद्योग वाणिज्य महासंघका अध्यक्षको अगुवाइमा नेपालभरका उद्योगी व्यापारीको सामूहिक लगानी कोष बन्ने भएको छ ।

महासंघका अध्यक्ष चन्द्रप्रसाद ढकालले ७७ वटै जिल्लाका उद्योगी व्यापारीहरुको लगानी हुने गरि सामूहिक लगानी कोष ल्याउन लागेको बताए ।

महासंघका अनुसार देशका ७७ वटा जिल्लामा १२० हाराहारी जिल्ला तथा नगर उद्योग वाणिज्य संघ छन् । प्रतिफलयुक्त आयोजनामा लगानी गर्ने उद्देश्यसहित ती सबै जिल्ला तथा नगर उद्योग वाणिज्य संघमा आबद्ध रहेका उद्योगी व्यापारीको सामूहिक लगानी कोष बनाउने ढकालले बताए ।

‘सामूहिक लगानी कोषको मोडालिटी बन्दै छ’, ढकालले भने, ‘७७ वटै जिल्लाका जिल्ला नगर उद्योग वाणिज्य संघमा आबद्ध उद्योगी व्यवसायीको संलग्नतामा सामूहिक लगानी कोष बनाएर प्रतिफलयुक्त आयोजनामा लगानी गर्ने हाम्रो योजना हो ।’

ढकाल २०७९ चैत ३० गते महासंघमा अध्यक्ष भएका हुन् । तर, उनी अध्यक्ष हुँदा नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रमा समस्या देखिइसकेको थियो । निवर्तमान अध्यक्ष शेखर गोल्छाको कार्यकालको करिब सुरुवातदेखि नै विश्वव्यापी महामारी कोरोनालगायत विविध समस्याका कारण नेपालको अर्थतन्त्रले लय गुमाउँदै गइरहेको थियो ।

जसका कारण निजी क्षेत्रको मनोबल इतिहासकै न्यून बिन्दुमा रहेका बेला महासंघको सामूहिक लगानी कोषले उद्यमी व्यवासायीको मनोबल बढाउने तथा निजी क्षेत्रको योगदान पनि देखिने ढकालको विचार छ ।

कोरोना महामारीपछि नेपालको अर्थतन्त्र उठ्न सकेन । वैश्विक महामारी कोरोनाका कारण नेपालमा २०७६ साल चैत ११ गतेदेखि बन्दाबन्दी गरिएको थियो । पटक पटकको बन्दाबन्दीका करण अर्थतन्त्र झन् झन् शिथिल बन्न पुगेको हो ।

कोरोना महामारीका कारण आर्थिक वर्ष २०७६/७७ मा नेपालको अर्थतन्त्र २.३७ प्रतिशतले नकारात्मक भएको थियो भने त्यसपछिको आव २०७७/७८ मा पनि ४.२५ प्रतिशत आर्थिक वृद्धिमात्र भएको थियो । जसका कारण आव २०७६/७७ को कोरोना महामारीपछि गत आव सम्ममा औसत् आर्थिक वृद्धिदर २.४७ प्रतिशतमात्र देखिन्छ ।

चालु आर्थिक वर्षको आर्थिक वृद्धिदर पनि विश्व बैकको प्रक्षेपणअनुसार ३.९ प्रतिशत हुने आशा छ भने एसियाली विकास बैंकले भने ४.३ प्रतिशत आर्थिक वृद्धि हुने प्रक्षेपण गरेको छ । तर, चालू आर्थिक वर्षमा बाह्य क्षेत्रमा सुधार भए पनि आन्तरिक क्षेत्र चलायमान नहुँदा अर्थतन्त्र ४ प्रतिशतको हराहारीमा मात्र वृद्धि हुने देखिन्छ । जसका कारण निजी क्षेत्रको मनोबल इतिहासकै सबैभन्दा न्यून रहेको हो ।

यसरी अर्थतन्त्रमा ८१.५५ प्रतिशत योगदान दिएको निजी क्षेत्र, जसले रोजगारी सिर्जनामा पनि ८६.६७ प्रतिशत योगदान गरेको छ, पछिल्ला वर्षहरुमा आफनो कमजोर मनोबलका कारण लगानी एवं उद्योग व्यापार विस्तारमा उदासिन रहेको छ । नेपाल उद्योग परिसंघको तथ्यांकअनुसार पनि उद्योगहरु आफनो पूर्ण क्षमतामा संचालन हुन सकिहेका छैनन् ।

उद्योगहरु कोरोनापूर्वको अवस्था अझै संचालन हुन नसक्नुमा बजारमा माग बढ्न नसक्नु प्रमुख कारण हो । तर, बजारमा माग बढाउन तथा कारोबारमा सहजीकरण गर्न सरकार अससफल भएको छ ।

त्यसैले पनि सामूहिक लगानी कोषले उदासिन तथा कमजोर मनोबल भएको निजी क्षेत्रलाई उत्साहित बनाउन मद्दत गर्ने ढकालको आशा छ ।

मुलुक संघीय गणतन्त्रमा रुपान्तरित भएपछि राजनीतिक स्थिरता आएको मानिए पनि सरकारका नीतिगत अस्थिरता तथा दीशाहिनताका कारण निजी क्षेत्रको मनोबल उठ्न सकेको छैन ।

जसका कारण उद्योगको संचालन क्षमतामा न्यूनीकरण एवं स्वदेशी तथा विदेशी लगानी पनि खासै उत्साहप्रद अवस्था नभएका कारण निजी क्षेत्रमा निराशा ब्याप्त छ । १० मध्ये ९ रोजगारी प्रदान गर्ने निजी क्षेत्रमा आएको संकुचनले मुलुकमा रोजगारी नपाएर युवा पलायन बढ्दो छ ।

सरकारले निजी क्षेत्रको कुरा नसुन्ने तर राजनीतिक फाइदामात्र हेर्ने गरेको कारण पनि अर्थतन्त्रमा इतिहासकै निराशा छाएको अर्थविद्हरु बताउँछन् । त्यसैले महासंघले निजी क्षेत्रको मनोबल बढाउन सामूहिक लगानी कोषको अवधारणा ल्याएको पनि ढकालको दाबी छ । (

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

MCC funded projects pave the way for new opportunities in areas of economic cooperation between Nepal and US: PM

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded projects have paved the way for new opportunities in areas of economic cooperation between Nepal and the US, according to the Prime Minister. 

Extending his congratulations and best wishes, chief guest Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' asserted that MCC funded projects have paved the way for new opportunities in areas of economic cooperation between Nepal and the US. He also expressed his hopes of enhancing trade connectivity for Nepal throughout Asia, and that the effective implementation of the compact’s projects would contribute significantly to Nepal's economic development and poverty reduction.

MCC chief executive officer Alice P Albright joined Prime Minister Dahal at a celebration hosted by MCA-Nepal to mark the launch of implementation for the MCC Nepal Compact, which is jointly funded by the government and MCC.

The five-year programme was launched on August 30, 2023, with an Entry into Force (EIF) letter exchange between finance minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat and MCC vice president-Compact Operations Cameron Alford. EIF is an important milestone for MCC compacts as it marks the fulfillment of necessary conditions and sufficient preparations to ensure successful completion of compact projects within a five-year timeline.

Finance minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat, on the occasion, expressed his belief that the MCC Nepal Compact’s projects will support Nepal’s growth and benefit the people of Nepal through better roads and more reliable electricity.

"We worked with the Government of Nepal to set ambitious goals with this programme in order to achieve great things with the people of Nepal," MCC chief executive Albright said, adding that the US stands ready to be a steadfast partner and have full confidence in the leadership of the Nepal and their implementing agency, MCA-Nepal. "We are ready to face the inevitable challenges together and deliver a successful programme."

"The MCC-Nepal Compact is another in a long line of important US initiatives supporting economic growth for the Nepali people and marks yet another significant milestone in the 76-year long friendship between Nepal and the United States," US ambassador Dean R Thompson added, on the occasion.

During her three-day visit, MCC chief executive Albright met with key government officials and stakeholders in the implementation of the Compact, attended a tree-planting ceremony to emphasise the importance MCC places on environmental protection and climate preservation, and observed ongoing work with the Department of Roads in training engineers to use climate-smart, sustainable technology to create a safer transportation network that is easier to maintain and better for the environment.

Highlighting the Compact’s aim to foster inclusive economic growth for the people of Nepal, MCC chief executive Albright also met with women executives who shared with her their experiences, work, and hopes for a more prosperous Nepal.

The government and MCC signed the MCC Nepal Compact on 14 September 2017 for two projects, the Electricity Transmission Project and the Road Maintenance Project, which will result in more reliable electricity and more cost-effective transportation in Nepal.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

World Bank projects Nepal’s economic growth to rebound to 3.9 per cent

Oct 3, 2023

Nepal’s economy is expected to rebound to 3.9 per cent in the current fiscal year (FY2024) owing to a lagged impact of the lifting of import restrictions, strong rebound in tourism, and the gradual loosening of monetary policy, according to the World Bank’s twice-a-year country update.

Released today, the Nepal Development Update, Restoring Export Competitiveness, projects Nepal’s economy to grow by 5 per cent in the next fiscal year (FY25). 

However, there are multiple risks to the outlook including an erratic monsoon, which could dampen agricultural growth; a renewed spike in commodity prices or continued food export bans by India which would raise prices; and higher inflation which could keep policy rates elevated, increase domestic debt servicing costs, and drag on growth.

The report also explores the drivers of external competitiveness for Nepal. The country’s total exports amounted to 6.9 per cent of GDP in the last fiscal year (FY2023), representing only a third of the exports of other South Asian middle-income countries on average.

The analysis finds that the real appreciation of the exchange rate and continued low labor productivity are associated with Nepal’s lower exports. As per the report, Nepal suffers from labour productivity deficit across all three sectors – agriculture, industry, and services – compared to peer countries and its main trading partner, India.

“Amid challenges, Nepal is leading the way towards operationalising its green, resilient, and inclusive development vision to shape the country’s long-term economic recovery,” World Bank country director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos said, adding that improved external competitiveness is key to driving this recovery and enabling Nepal to compete in export markets, in terms of both prices and quality. "This requires emphasis on reforms to help increase domestic productivity and reduce the inflation differential with Nepal’s trading partners."

The Nepal Development Update is a companion piece to the latest South Asia Development Update, Toward Faster, Cleaner Growth, also launched today, which projects South Asia to grow by 5.8 per cent this year — higher than any other developing country region in the world, but slower than its pre-pandemic pace and not fast enough to meet its development goals.

Regional growth prospects are subject to downside risks, including due to fragile fiscal positions. Government debt in South Asian countries averaged 86 per cent of GDP in 2022, increasing the risks of defaults, raising borrowing costs, and diverting credit away from the private sector. The region could also be affected by a further slowdown in China’s economic growth and natural disasters made more frequent and intense by climate change.

Constrained by fiscal challenges, governments have limited room to help their economies fully capitalise on the global energy transition. Though often seen as an additional burden for developing countries, for South Asia, the energy transition could present an opportunity for future growth and job creation — if it leads to more investments by firms, cuts air pollution, and reduces the reliance on fuel imports.

Even with limited fiscal space, countries can encourage firms to adopt more energy-efficient technologies through market-based regulations, information campaigns, broader access to finance, and reliable power grids.

“South Asia’s energy intensity of output is about twice the global average and the region lags in the adoption of more advanced energy-efficient technologies,” World Bank chief economist for South Asia Franziska Ohnsorge said, adding that improvements in energy efficiency, in the context of a rapid global energy transition, are an opportunity for South Asia to make progress toward both environmental and economic goals.

The energy transition will also have significant impacts on South Asia’s labor markets. Almost one-tenth of the region’s workers are employed in pollution-intensive jobs. These jobs are concentrated among lower-skilled and informal workers who are more vulnerable to labour market shifts.

While the energy transition can help create more new jobs, it could also leave some workers stranded in declining industries. The report recommends a wide range of policies to protect such workers, including providing better access to high-quality education and training, finance, and markets; facilitating worker mobility; and strengthening social safety nets.