THT 10 years ago: GDP to grow 4 pc this year: Report

Kathmandu, April 18, 2007

Nepal’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow by 4 per cent this year after the country entered into the peace process.

“Nepal is expected to return to a new phase of sustained growth and development with 4 per cent growth in GDP in 2007,” according to an Economic and Social Survey of the United Nations Economic And Social Commission For Asia And The Pacific (ESCAP).

The report of the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific that was launched today, however, said: “The fiscal situation remains weak with growing recurrent expenditure, low capital spending and a high budget deficit, which increased to 4.3 per cent in 2006 from 3.4 per cent in 2005.”

It said that most countries in South Asia, including Nepal, felt inflationary pressures in 2006 on the back of high oil prices. To contain inflation, most countries in the sub-region pursued tighter monetary policies.

In Nepal, the government’s anti-inflationary policies included effective management of supply and demand for essential consumer goods and raw materials by means of a liberal imports policy.

It stated that the current account recorded a surplus in 2006 helped by large workers’ remittances, and highlighted maintaining the reforms to sustain high growth and rapid poverty reduction. With fiscal adjustment still a challenge, it suggested more progress in tax collection and resource mobilisation to reduce large budget deficits.

Western Tarai forests being stripped bare

Destruction of forest area has been increasing rapidly in the western Terai. Some 60,000 cubic feet of trees have illegally been felled in Kailali district alone during the past six months.

Jungle cover is being destroyed at Kanchanpur district as well. The ranger of the district forest office and members of consumers’ committee on January 8 felled some 20,000 cubic feet of trees in Sunpal Proposed Community Forest which lies under Masuriya range post in Kailali.

Although, the ranger has been dismissed from duty, no action has been taken against the members of the community forest. Locals seized 20,000 cubic feet of timber from Barhaban area of Chaumala and Beladevipur VDCs on January 11.

Similarly, 200 cubic feet of timber has been seized from Siradhani community forest on January 13. Members of mafia attacked locals on February 5, alleging locals of not allowing them to smuggle timber to India. Locals seized 200 cubic feet of timber from Jali Community Forest at Dhangadhi-6 on February 9.

Locals felled 55 sal trees (some 4,000 cubic feet of timber) from Simthadi forest area at Ramsikharjhala VDC in Kailali on March 18. Some 250 cubic feet of timber, which was submitted to the district forest office was released following pressure from the Maoists on April 9.