Kathmandu, September 8
Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has said that the country’s economy is moving in the right direction despite the criticism made by some groups of people.
Speaking at a programme organised to mark the 10th anniversary of the Nepalese Association of Financial Journalists in the Capital today, Minister Khatiwada expressed his sadness over various efforts launched to create wrong illusions about the economic status of the country.
“The economic status of the country is not as problematic as projected by some people. Some people have mobilised others to create rumours and wrong illusions about economic status of the country,” he claimed.
Khatiwada stated that at present most of the economic indicators are positive but there are efforts being made in the country to create illusions.
“Some international organisations have reported that the data made public by the government in consent with the private sector are fake,” he said. “It shows how active the illusion creators are.”
“The government was able to achieve economic growth of 7.1 per cent in the last fiscal year and that is the truth. But a few data manipulators are trying to distort that fact,” he rued.
“The government is continuously trying to enhance the country’s economy and exports by emphasising on the production sector. If there are some lapses on the government’s part while delivering the service then we need to eliminate such errors through collaborative efforts,” the minister stated. “But this constant criticism of the government is not a healthy practice.”
Khatiwada further added that it would be better if people provided constructive suggestions to the government on how we could better our economy rather than just criticising us.
He pointed out that if the above seven per cent growth that the country has witnessed was not able to address the employment situation in the country then we could have a debate on the issue. “We also need to focus on a self sustaining economy rather than an economy that relies on imports.”
The compulsory provision of permanent account number (PAN) for salaried workers has brought many things to the fore, he said. “For instance, we have seen that many jobs are being provided to foreign workers and not to Nepali nationals,” the minister added. “So, we are now trying to formulate policies that will encourage the hiring of local employees by domestic firms.”
He further claimed that all the economic indicators of the country are balanced. “The federal as well as the local and provincial governments are doing their best to achieve sustainable development and all the local and provincial governments are achieving nearly eight per cent economic growth,” Khatiwada informed.
Once we are able to fully implement the federal system of governance and distribute our resources equally then the overall economic development of the country will be better, he stated. “We are in the initial stages and it will take some time to fully implement the federal system of governance in all walks of life.”
A version of this article appears in print on September 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.