Dhangadi, April 8
The provincial government in Province 7 has issued a white paper depicting a dismal picture of the province’s economy.
Minister of Financial Affairs and Planning for Province 7, Jhapat Bohara, today presented the 77-point paper at the meeting of the Provincial Assembly.
The paper dwelt on the potentials of the province though, besides painting a gloomy social and economic status of the province, whose human development index stands at 0.540. Similarly, the province, with 33.56 per cent population living under the poverty line, has the highest level of poverty across the country.
Sixth in the country in terms of population, the province, as per the data of fiscal 2016-17l, accounted for 1.14 per cent of the total revenue collection in the country, against 5.4 per cent of total public expenditure made in this province.
Of the total 88 local bodies in the province, only 34 have access to commercial banks. Women’s literacy rate stands at 67 per cent. Only 19.7 per cent women have studied beyond the School Leaving Certificate level, which Minister Bohara saw as worrisome.
Likewise, the white paper also mentions the high infant and maternal mortality rate in the province, identifying HIV, malnutrition and amnesia as the major maladies.
No better is the picture of social security in the paper. While domestic violence, increasing use of kids in criminal activities, management of orphans, among others, are reckoned as major challenges in the social sector, the paper bemoans the fact of poor infrastructure in the province. The paper particularly laments the fact that even major roads, including one that links with Bajura district headquarters Martadi, are not black-topped.
As for the positive aspects, the paper dwells on the prospects in the province. While it envisions effective mobilisation of available resources through cooperation between public, private and cooperative sectors to create a firm foundation for development and prosperity of the province through effective plans and policies, it also spells out its plan to achieve prosperity in the province by implementing short, mid. and long-term periodic plans.
As for increasing the revenue collection, the paper envisages exploring new sources of revenue.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Assembly meeting today determined its logo. The logo selected from various models features Api and Saipal mountains in blue and white colours on the top, with the image of hills and plains below. There are nine rhododendron flowers, symbolic of nine districts, on the periphery of the circular logo.
A version of this article appears in print on April 09, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.