Govt officials urge timely reform in economic policies

Kathmandu, August 8:

High-level government officials have underscored the need for timely reforms in economic policies to cope with the challenges brought about by globalisation and liberalisation. Dr Shankar Sharma, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC), at the policy papers discussion held by the government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have said that there is a need for similar views by the government and the private sector on policy issues, so that it would be easier to reform policies in time. Sometimes, the private sector might have different views but that should be debated keeping in mind the forthcoming challenges produced by economic liberalisation and globalisation, said Dr Sharma. To achieve sound economic growth in the context of economic liberalisation and to boost exports, foreign direct investment plays a crucial role, said Sharma.

In today’s context, the private sector and the academic sector play a lead role in shaping

‘economic policies’ to better suit the competitive environment, Dr Sharma said. The government should also listen to this, which will help in reforming our policies timely in areas of taxation, export promotion and public-private partnership, he said. Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, resident chief of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Nepal on the occasion commented that if the policy dialogue process with concerned stakeholders could continue to make them compatible, it would render a better outcome. He also stressed on the need to continue dialogue with donors on policy reforms aspect. Economic Policy Network (EPN), a joint project of the government and ADB, is financially supported by ADB. Various papers are under preparation in EPN such as ‘Tax policy for export promotion, implementation evaluation of foreign direct investment policy in Nepal, prospects and approaches to public private partnership in transport infrastructure’ involving various private sector experts. Chief secretary Dr Bimal P Koirala realised that the economic liberalisation process started in 1990s could not continue as per the expectations due to failure in reforming policies on time. Policy instability during earlier years has affected our policies to mo-ve forward people-led refor-ms. Therefore, time is ripe to expedite our reforms, he added.