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Economy in need of positive intervention: Former ministers



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By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Apr. 11: Main opposition party - CPN-UML - has said that the country's economy will deteriorate further if effective measures are not adopted immediately.
Three former finance ministers of the main opposition party CPN-UML on Sunday made public a 12-point joint statement on the latest economic situation of the country.

Organising a press conference on present economic issues, former finance ministers - Bishnu Paudel, Surendra Pandey and Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwada - said that the country's economy was heading towards crisis and it should be brought on the right track through positive interference.

"The country's economy is under the crisis and is moving towards a more critical situation. Positive intervention is a must to save the country's economy from further deterioration," said CPN-UML vice chairman and former finance minister Paudel.

He said that economists, journalists and other concerned authorities should exert pressure on the government from their sides to bring the economy on the right track as the present government focussed only on protecting coalition instead of the economy.

He claimed that the economy of the country was in a strong position when the then Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli left the government, but it started showing negative indicators after the formation of the present coalition government.

"Economic indicators such as inflation, foreign currency reserves, trade deficit and balance of payments are in worrisome condition. But the government has not paid any attention to this condition and to improve it," he said.

Talking about the suspension of the Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Maha Prasad Adhikari, Paudel said that the action against the governor was objectionable and reprehensible. He urged the government to rectify the suspension decision immediately.

Former Finance Minister and vice-chairman of CPN-UML Pandey said that inflation was likely to hit double-digit this year as the price of all products is rising.
"With the decline in agricultural production, lack of additional investment capacity of banks, low morale of the private sector and low government development expenditure, the state will not be able to increase capital expenditure. Employment is being adversely affected," he said.

He said that there would be further pressure on foreign currency reserves as imports are increasing despite the decline in growth of remittance inflow.
"Income from tourism - a major source of foreign currency, will not increase as the war between Russia and Ukraine would affect foreign tourist arrivals. So, it is urgent to take initiatives to strengthen foreign currency reserves by controlling imports," Pandey said.

On the occasion, Former Finance Minister and former governor Dr. Khatiwada said that the country's economy was in a critical condition.
"External sector imbalance is growing which puts pressure on foreign currency reserves. The government should change course to bring the economy on track," he said.
Khatiwada said that there is no money in the bank to invest due to faulty policies of the government. "Lack of money in bank to invest is because of unacceptable activities and wrongdoings of the government," he said.

"Prices of food items have gone up dramatically. Rising prices of petroleum products have made life difficult. Recurrent expenditure is expected to increase by 8 per cent; this is a wake-up call for the economy."