Economic reform hindered by disgruntled party: Minister Dr Mahat

File Photo

Minister for Finance Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat said that the steps taken by the government for economic reforms were getting obstructed by the disgruntled party.

According to him, the disgruntled parties were not cooperating with the government since, he argued, they were angered by the policy and structural changes initiated during the second phase of economic reform.

Congratulating the newly elected executive committee of the SEJON here Wednesday, the Minister reiterated that the challenges lied in the implementation of the policy reforms as well as the programmes included in the budgets.

He explained that the disgruntled party meant those who feared that the benefits and facilities they were availing would be ceased following the policy and structural reforms.

According to the Minister, some important plans were put forward by the incumbent government through the current fiscal year’s annual policies, programme and budget such as cutting down current and general expenses, abolition of redundant structures and process of merger, institutional and fiscal good-governance, control of leakages of revenue, competent and result-oriented administrations and increasing capital expenses, among others.

On a different note, he admitted that the national economy was slow and painful. Nevertheless, the Finance Minister believed that it was moving ahead in the right direction.

He lamented that although there was remittance inflow, the market could not be functional since, he opined, that the investors were not excited. “Even though there was adequate liquidity and the interest rate was comfortable, there could not be a positive climate for investment. There is no investment in the stock market or land as before. The investors, general public and one and all are hesitating,” observed the Minister, highlighting the need to conduct positive discourse and boost investors’ confidence.

He viewed that the Nepal Rastra Bank had introduced a flexible monetary policy to revitalize the economy in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, he opined that the investors invested without a thorough thinking although they could obtain the loan easily which did not yield expected result.

“Excessive and indiscriminate disbursement and expansion of loan in the recent past days were not only the fault of the borrower but also of the lender,” he said. On a different note, he expressed his concern over the increasing exodus of Nepali labour force. He worried that if the labour force would continue to go abroad, Nepal could face human resources crunch some time later.

“It is a half truth that there is dearth of opportunities and works in Nepal. There is no truth in regard to the students that they get everything there after they reach foreign countries. They are going abroad investing a huge amount. There is no reward from that,” Minister reminded.

He blamed that the older generation failed to convince the younger generation about the availability of opportunities in Nepal.