Top Economic news for this week – 8th Jestha to 14th Jestha


Jestha 15, 2073- This week's main events that provide insight into current Nepalese economic environment have been briefly presented below:
























































  • The government plans to significantly raise public spending against private sector investment in the upcoming 14th periodic plan that begins from 2016-17. As per the approach paper of new three-year plan, public sector investment will be 40.6 percent, a rise from 31 percent in the ongoing plan. 
  • It has been 10 years since the project started, but just 16km of the 85km road connecting Mugu district headquarters Gamgadhi and Tibet has so far been built. Despite an agreement between the Chinese government and Nepal to facilitate trade through the Mugu-Tibet route, there has been very little progress towards this direction.
  • The government plans to issue a tender in a week for the upgradation of the Galchhi-Syafrubesi Road that was damaged badly by last year’s earthquake. The road reaches Rasuwagadhi from Syafrubesi. Considering the possibility that the Rasuwagadhi road could the main trade route between Nepal and China, with the future of the Tatopani border point hanging in the balance, the government plans to upgrade it into a two-lane blacktopped road within the next two years.
  • The government is prioritizing two agricultural products in each district by providing necessary support and incentives to farmers with an objective of making the country self-reliant in agro-products within three years. The program will be introduced in the upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17.
  • The government is giving up to 80 percent subsidy to households in 14 quake-hit districts to purchase renewable energy technology. Subsidy will be provided particularly for installation of solar electric system, installation of micro hydro plant and household bio gas plant.
  • With the country already reeling under hours of load-shedding every day, the Kaligandaki A hydropower plant is to be shut down for a week because of a problem with the turbine. The plant is going to shut down from 7 am Tuesday for the repair and maintenance.  With the halt in operation, the load-shedding hours may increase, according to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
  • The government is preparing to hike Road Repair and Maintenance Fee of vehicles by up to 20 percent while keeping customs and excise duties unchanged. The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) has proposed to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to hike the fee through the upcoming budget.
  • The Ministry of Commerce wants to hold consultations with Chinese Embassy officials first to prepare for a technical level meeting planned with a Chinese team to formulate a protocol to the recently signed Transit Transport Agreement (TTA). Nepal and China signed the TTA during Prime Minister KP Oli’s visit to Beijing last March.
  • The Budhi Gandaki Hydroelectric Project Development Committee (BGHPDC) has decided to conduct a study for a re-regulating dam planned to be built downstream of the project site. A board meeting of the committee held on Sunday has directed the management of the project to go ahead with the survey.
  • Some popular brands of cigarettes are in short supply in Kathmandu Valley as sellers have started hoarding cigarettes in anticipation of hike in excise duty which increases their price. As the government has been raising excise duty on cigarettes in every budget, some sellers have found a way to make some fast bucks by hoarding cigarettes before the budget announcement.
  • The Finance Committee of legislature-parliament has decided to instruct the government to allocate needful budget for Kathmandu Tarai-Madhesh Fast Track Track project in the upcoming budget. The meeting even concluded that the government should allocate Rs.15 to Rs.20 billion for the national pride project.
  • The budgets of past three fiscal years had announced cash incentives for hydropower projects in a bid to encourage developers to complete projects at the earliest. But the developers, who met all the criteria, have not received any such incentive so far.
  • Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) plans to start issuing the NRB bonds from the next week—a move aimed at addressing the prolonged excess liquidity situation in the banking system.
  • The Supply Ministry has formed a four-member committee to study implementation of card system for the distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is the third time the government has planned implementing the system after its first two attempts ended in fiasco. The committee has been asked to submit its report in two weeks.
  • Nepal’s imports of mild steel rods, wires, coils and other construction materials have jumped 91.33 percent as domestic production falls behind demand, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) said. According to the central bank, the import bill as of mid-April totalled Rs5.82 billion, up from Rs3.04 billion year-on-year.
  • Factories based in the Butwal Industrial Zone have been hamstrung by labour shortages forcing them to operate at less than their potential capacity. The Butwal Industrial Zone contains 67 factories and all of them are running with less than the required number of workers. Metal and plastic factories in particular are facing an acute labour shortage. Factory owners say that the labour shortage has emerged because young people are more interested in working in foreign lands. The government has planned to relocate two railway tracks at Sirsiya Dry Port in Birgunj to another part of the terminal as they have been lying unused. Of the five railway tracks used by freight trains transporting goods from Kolkata port in India, tracks number 3 and 4 have been proposed to be shifted. 
  • The evolving home and living concept along with the development of modern-style apartment and housing units has led to an increase in the demand for furniture of foreign brands and dealers have reported an annual business growth of 20 percent. Around 60 percent of the furniture offered in Nepali market is imported, according to Kavindra Joshi, president of Nepal Furniture and Furnishing Association.
  • Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has sought additional grants from the government to supply food in Humla, Kalikot, Mugu and Dolpa districts in Karnali region and Bajura district in Seti Zone, which have been hit the hardest by food shortages.
  • In a bid to control financial crimes, the draft bill to amend Banking Offence and Punishment Act, 2008 has increased maximum jail sentence to 12 years for banking crimes.Maximum jail sentence for people convicted of banking offence is up to five years, as per the existing law. The bill has provisioned punishment in three classes on the basis of size of crime (amount).
  • Pokhara Industrial Estate (PIE) has not been able to provide space to new industries as closed industries are yet to vacate the leased premises.
  • The government is importing an additional 3,000 tons of LP gas from Panipat Refinery of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) by May-end to improve supplies in the market.
  • The Finance Committee of parliament has instructed the government to recover assets from the chairman, board directors, officials and senior staffers of Oriental Cooperative to return depositors' money.
  • Public Enterprises (PEs) posted net profit of Rs.33.92 billion in the last fiscal year compared to around Rs.29 billion in 2013/14, according to a report published on Thursday by the Ministry of Finance. But they paid Rs.6.45 billion to the government as dividend which is less compared to what they had paid a fiscal year ago.
  • A total of 92 km road has been blacktopped while a 132 km length has been graveled in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. During last year, a 601-km road was blacktopped and 401-km gravelled. The Economic Survey Report tabled in parliament Thursday by the government states that 24 motorable bridges have been constructed this year.
  • Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) and China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring Chinese investment in Nepal.
  • The number of tourists visiting iconic Rara Lake in western Nepal has swelled tremendously after the Surkhet-Jumla section of Karnali Highway was completed. Sightseers are increasingly driving over the highway to reach Rara which offers a more comfortable journey and leaves them more time to enjoy the scenery of the largest lake in the country.
  • Companies listed at Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) now have to submit their financial informations first to the Nepse electronically before making them public. By launching software on Friday, the Nepse has strictly prohibited the companies to make their information public before receiving its approval.
  • Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index climbed up 25.77 points to close at 1,525.09 points on Thursday–the last trading day of the week. The stock market crossed the 1,500-point mark for the first time this week. After closing at a record high of 1,544.53 points on Tuesday, the market fell 20.41 points and recovered marginally by 0.97 point on the last trading day of the week.

"This summarized news has been written on the basis of news published on The Kathmandu Post and My Republica during the week".