GDP growth rate slides down

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 17:

With the dismal performance of agriculture and tourism sector, the GDP growth rate has been scaled down to 2.05 per cent. Earlier, the government has set the target growth at 4.5 per cent. The finance minister had recently briefed the King about deteriorating economic situation, that has been proved by the latest figures produced by Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), a government undertaking. Talking to The Himalayan Times, Dr Rudra Suwal, deputy director at the CBS said “as per the preliminary estimate under the National Planning Commission (NPC), GDP growth has been scaled down to 2.05 per cent. Dr Suwal attributed the reasons in GDP growth rates fall to weak performance of agriculture as paddy production, which has a significant weightage in GDP, alone declined by about four per cent in the current fiscal year. As per the CBS statistics, agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP was 3.86 per cent last year where as it declined to 2.8 per cent as per the preliminary estimates, this year.

Few days’ back, finance minister Madhukar SJB Rana had apprised the King of the deteriorating economic situation saying that budgetary crisis has been seen with country’s inflation touching at about six per cent ignited by the hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) and petroleum products.

According to the CBS, the construction sector’s growth also posted negative by 2.43 in the current fiscal year, which was only 0.19 per cent last year. Not only that trade, restaurants and hotel sector also posted a negative growth of 3.02 per cent. However, the same sectors had posted 6.03 per cent growth last year, says statistics. Imports have also recorded negative by 5.7 per cent while export growth has been limited to 3.6 per cent. Government’s development budget is also not being spent and revenue is not going to meet the expenses in the current fiscal year, it is predicted. Economists have already projected that the government

cannot collect more than Rs 67 billion revenues against Rs. 71 billion target in the current fiscal year.