The nationwide lockdown imposed a year ago had lasted nearly six months. The unprecedented move possibly limited the spread of the deadly coronavirus, but also devastated the economy.

A report of the Central Bureau of Statistics has revealed that around 1.2 million people were pushed below the poverty line, while around 1.5 million people lost their jobs - of them, 640,000 were migrant workers and 924,000 were job holders. Similarly, the 15th periodic plan has also revealed that because of the pandemic, it will be difficult for Nepal to upgrade to the league of developing nations from its current status of one of the least developed countries.

After the government relaxed the lockdown measures in August, the economic activities have gathered momentum and industries are gradually reviving.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), around 89 per cent of industries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic have resumed in a full-fledged manner.

Of them, 16 per cent have started earning profit.

According to the ministry, however, 10.89 per cent of industries remain shut. Those that are still closed are mostly small and cottage industries as they lack the access to the government's relief packages. The study encompasses data collected till mid-February.

Similarly, according to the Department of Customs (DoC), goods worth Rs 943 billion were imported in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. During the corresponding period of last fiscal, goods worth Rs 924 billion had been imported.

Similarly, goods worth Rs 80.71 billion has been exported in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, while in the same period of last fiscal year goods worth Rs 74.90 billion had been exported.

As the economic activities had not been affected in the same period of last fiscal, the country's trade situation has pretty much normalised.

"Both imports and exports have gained momentum.

Gradually industrial sector is also reviving and taking speed.

Similarly, the stock market of the country has also set new records. These are the major signs of economic revival," said Keshav Acharya, an economist.

He said that the country's gross domestic product dropped by almost two per cent for the first time in around six decades because of the pandemic and that the situation is slowly normalising.

"However, the increasing COVID-19 cases in India and Nepal has created a fear among people that the government might impose a lockdown again," he said, adding, "However, the government should come up with a plan to prevent the spread of the infection while allowing the economic activities to continue."

He said except for sectors such as tourism, education and hospitality, industries related to trade, commerce and manufacturing have resumed and are doing well.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson for Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Dev Kumar Dhakal claimed that the relief packages introduced by the central bank have somewhat helped the industries to revive. Towards the refinancing policy of the NRB, around 142 applications have been accepted so far. "We have disbursed around Rs 130 billion in concessional loans till date after the outbreak."

He, however, also mentioned that increasing cases of COVID-19 could hamper the economic activities. "Otherwise, the revival trend of economic activities in the country after the lockdown can be considered satisfactory."

A version of this article appears in the print on March 25, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.