Don’t politicise economics: Dr Mahat

Kathmandu, November 23:

Dr Ram Sharan Mahat today strongly urged all political parties and stakeholders not to politicise econ-omics as time is running out for expediting econo-mic development while peace gradually takes shape, following the signing of peace accord between the seven political parties and the CPN (Maoist).

Dr Mahat was speaking at a roundtable conference on ‘bringing economic agendas to the centre stage’ organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI). He said that all political actors sho-uld develop a common ec-onomic agenda to change the future, enhancing the living status of people who are yet to emjoy the fruits of democracy.

We should strengthen market economy with equity and social justice, said Dr Mahat adding that foreign direct investment is also greatly needed. Nepal does not have high saving, therefore, revenue increment mechanisms along with high foreign direct investment would change our destiny, he opined. He also said that Nepal has not defaulted its loan payment to other countries and whatever economic grow-th we now realise is due to private sector’s development in the past 14 years.

Prof Bishwambher Pyakuryal, president of Nepal Economic Association, at the beginning of the programme expl-ored priority issu-es for bringing ec-onomic agenda to the centre stage with focus on economic restructuri-ng and making existing economic policies market-friendly. Pyakuryal said that Nepal’s debt servicing liability has incre-ased in recent years. As Maoists have also not gone against the free market and economic liberalisation, they should also openly st-ate what policies they prefer for the economic sector, said Pyakuryal. He expre-ssed concerns that income inequality in Nepal is increasing, therefore, policies and government services should reach a wider section of the society.

Dr Dilli Raj Khanal, UML-lawmaker stressed on the need for bringing a consensus on economic agenda. He called for immediate economic revival. Dev Gurung, central leader of CPN (Maoist) said that the current fragile economy be rescued with effective policies.

Binod Chaudhary, president of CNI, focused on giving priority to economic agenda in the coming days.