Top economic news for this week – 11th to 17th Poush

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Poush 18, 2072 – This week started with Nepal’s move to attract Chinese tourists by waiving visa fee to enter Nepal. This facility was previously limited to the members of SARRC countries and now is extended to Chinese visitors. This new policy took place during bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Friday.

The policy of waiving visa fee for Chinese tourists seems to have added new avenue in our relationship with northern neighbor. On the other hand, due to the ongoing protest and embargo, our border has been blocked for a long time with southern neighbor. The Terai unrest and blockade resulted into exponential increase in price of daily essentials. This incident has hampered business houses along with consumers. So, the executive committee of FNCCI has urged the government to end the crisis as soon as possible. The committee has also urged government to ensure supplies of necessary raw materials for smooth operation of business.

The current crisis has left us with negative news everywhere but some positive news has been out there too. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ananda Prasad Pokharel has committed to work on the foundation of the Pokhara International Airport within two months of time and also presented fifteen projects to make “Pokhara- A Tourist Destination”. News about KL Dugar group was also on the headlines this week. Police has filed a case against the top official of KL Dugar group seeking 10 years jail and compensation worth Rs. 140 million. Police found the group hoarding products and artificially hiking the prices during a raid at the group’s warehouse.

Although the situation of the country is not so favorable, there has been increase in investment in the last three months. We can hope for the crisis to end soon as there have been some positive talks between Mr. Modi the PM of India and the PM of Nepal about maintaining cordial relationship between India and Nepal. In the face of this blockade, the demand for electricity is increasing so the Nepal Electricity authority is planning to import 90 megawatts (MW) of electricity from India by January. We have been already importing 235 MW of electricity from India. Although 780 MW of electricity is produced domestically, it is unable to meet the total demand of the country i.e. 1300 MW.

 

– Aakriti Dangal, Kathmandu