Govt to carry out impact assessment of coronavirus on economy

Kathmandu, March 5

The government is preparing to carry out a study to assess the impact of the spread of coronavirus across the globe on country’s economy.

Minister for Finance Yubaraj Khatiwada today said that a high-level team will soon be formed at the ministry to study the impact of the COVID-19 on the country’s economy. Khatiwada also said that Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) will also carry out a separate study on the impact of the coronavirus on Nepal’s trade and economy.

“We have already started witnessing preliminary impact of the coronavirus on the country’s economy. We plan to carry out a detailed study of the virus’ impact on different sectors, including the overall trade and economy,” said Khatiwada.

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, Nepal’s trade with China has been completely halted since more than a month. Traders claim that the domestic market is running out of stock of various goods, especially apparels which can lead to crisis of different clothes and rise in price.

Similarly, the tourism sector has been hit hard due to the coronavirus. As foreigners are avoiding travel to prevent contracting the virus, the government was forced to reschedule the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign.

Likewise, different ongoing projects, including Gautam Buddha International Airport, Pokhara International Airport, Melamchi Water Supply Project and other hydropower projects have been affected due to lack of timely supply of construction materials and equipment. As the Chinese workers engaged in these projects who had gone back home to observe the Lunar New Year are yet to return, this has further added to the woes of these projects.

“The coronavirus is having an impact on different sectors, including hydropower, trade and tourism.

The government will take necessary measures to cope with the situation based on the study assessment carried out on the virus’ impact on the economy,” added Khatiwada.