October 24 ,2017 , 05:19 PM
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Tackling economic trauma


The catastrophic April 25 earthquake has really cast blight on the country. It devastatingly rocked 14 districts where 8,800 people were killed, thousands injured and an estimated one million residents displaced.

Apart from these, the catastrophic April 25 Gorkha Earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks took a heavy toll on the country’s economy.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) on last Saturday came up with a startling finding that the devastating impacts of the tremours pushed some one million Nepalis below poverty line.

According to the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report prepared by the NPC, the poverty-level would go up by more than 2.5-3.5 percent

And, this is attributed to the loss of houses, income-generating opportunities and productive assets such as seeds and livestock.

In fact, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has already projected that the economic growth will slow down to eight-year low i.e 3.04 percent this fiscal year owing to the powerful quakes coupled with poor monsoon.   This is the slowest annual growth since fiscal year 2006-07 when the country’s GDP grew by 2.75 percent.

The country’s GDP, which was supposed to stand at Rs2.16 trillion before the quake, will amount to mere 2.12 trillion in 2015/16, states the latest report of the CBS.

Nepalis are also on the verge of losing $24 in per capita income this fiscal year thanks to immense negative consequences triggered by the catastrophic tremours.

Agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, among others, are the vital components of the national economy facing the worst implications.

Tourism sector, which accounts for about eight percent of the economy, suffers a loss of Rs 43 billion. Similarly, the loss incurred by the agriculture sector, which accounts for one-thirds of the GDP, amounts to Rs 12 billion.

Some two-thirds of the industrial units in the country have reeled under the yoke of the quake-induced damage.

Assets and properties worth $5.13 billion ( Rs.513 billion) were damaged and the loss in terms of foreign earnings in different sectors stands at $1.88 billion, according to the PDNA 

The PDNA states that Nepal needs an estimated $6.66 billion, or nearly one-third of the country's Gross Domestic Product for the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts.

And, not surprisingly, the government is planning to beseech the donor agencies at an international conference to be held on June 25 for their largesse. 

No doubt, in this crisis period, the country needs the support of the international community for fast tracking the reconstruction drive.  But, at the same time, we should not augment our dependency syndrome by only looking to foreign agencies to bail us out.

The first and foremost priority must be given on uitilizing our own local resources, local manpower, and local competencies.  And, herein lies the importance of public-private partnership.  To effectively drive forward the reconstruction process, a strategic and visionary collaboration between the state mechanisms and private sector is extremely desirable. After all,   this can also prove pivotal in spurring the growth of the country's quake ravaged economy.

Friday, Jun 19, 2015 12:20 pm

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