Earthquake, blockade double whammy to Nepal's economy: Ex-PM Khanal

POKHARA: Former Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal stated that Nepal's economy has been suffered the double whammy of earthquake and economic blockade.

The economy that was ruined by the April earthquake has been forced to witness further crisis due to the de facto Indian blockade, according to him. "Now it's high time all Nepalis thought about the ways to revive the economy," the CPN-UML said, speaking at a press meet here in Pokhara.

On the occasion, he opined that a conducive environment for (foreign direct) investment in Nepal should be created, stressing on the need for improving bilateral ties with India, China and other foreign countries.

Nepal should be made self-dependent by increasing investment in energy, agriculture, tourism. "We should lesson of self-dependence from the repeated blockades."

The former Prime Minister criticised the government, led by his party chairman KP Sharma Oli, saying it failed to find alternatives to supply of petroleum products and cooking gas even after four months of the start of border blockade.

The government had to without any delay negotiate with India, China and others for the supply of fuel, according to him.

"The government has been unable to perform smoothly," he said, "People have been complaining that the government is weak, either because it’s a coalition government of many parties or the Prime Minister has been unable to issue strong directives."