Economic survey shows lingering effects of global recession in NepalThe survey presented a day before the country’s annual budget is announced is a comprehensive analysis of the economy for the period of eight months of the current fiscal year.
Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Sunday said that the recession in the world economy has directly affected Nepal.
Presenting the Economic Survey for the current financial year 2022-23 at the Federal Parliament, Mahat said as the wholesale and retail market, construction and mining and manufacturing industry shrunk, its impact was visible in the overall economy.
As a result of high inflation, caused by the sharp rise in petroleum products, it decreased demand in the market. “But as petroleum prices are dropping, we expect the economy to recover,” said Mahat.
The survey expects Nepal’s annual economic growth rate, at a consumer price, to slow to 1.86 percent this fiscal year, ending mid-July.
The survey, generally, is presented a day before the country’s budget. The survey remains the comprehensive analysis of the economy for the period of eight months of the current fiscal year that is conducted by the government.
The survey shows Gandaki Province estimated to record the highest growth rate at 3.74 percent while Bagmati Province is estimated to record the lowest growth rate at 1.8 percent.
The agriculture and non-agricultural sector is estimated to grow at 2.73 percent and 1.92 percent, respectively in the current fiscal year, against an increase of 2.24 and 6.56 percent, respectively, in last fiscal year.
The contribution of the service sector to the GDP is projected at 62.4 percent, the agricultural sector at 24.1 percent and the manufacturing sector at 13.5 percent this fiscal year.
The survey said that Nepal’s average inflation in the first eight months of the current fiscal year remained at 7.93 percent as compared to 5.53 percent in the same period last fiscal year.
The survey said that with Rs1,010.28 billion in domestic loans and Rs1,069.78 billion in foreign loans, Nepal’s public debt liability has reached Rs2,080.06 billion.
At the beginning of the current fiscal year, in mid-July last year, it was Rs2,013.29 billion.
In the first eight months of this fiscal year, Rs87.2 billion of the domestic loan has been mobilised.
The survey said that the number of banking and financial institutions in the country has been declining with the merger and acquisition policy. However, their branches are expanding.
There are 120 banking and financial institutions, including microfinance institutions in the country by as of mid-March. They have 11,629 branches.
Commercial banks have branches at every local level except in Bajhang’s Saipal.
There are altogether 31,379 co-operatives in the country.
The survey said that the Nepal Stock Exchange index dropped to 1,953.06 points by the end of mid-March from 2,668.12 points in the same period last fiscal year.
The number of companies listed on the Nepal Stock Exchange has reached 245.
The stock market capitalisation decreased by 25.35 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal year as compared to the same period last fiscal year.
According to the survey, 19 percent of the Nepali population has a Demat account.
The survey said that 14,084 individuals were employed by the Prime Minister’s Employment Programme in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, out of 841,378 unemployed enlisted.
The survey said that the number of employers and employees enrolling in the social security fund is increasing every year.
In the review period, 17,748 employers and 389,587 employees were enrolled in the fund.
The production of cereals—paddy, wheat, maize and other food crops—is expected to grow by 3.9 percent and reach 11.2 tonnes this fiscal year. In the last fiscal year, the production of cereal had decreased by 3.3 percent.
The National Food Security Storage and SAARC Food Security Store have a reserve of 11,534 tonnes and 8,000 tonnes of food grain, respectively, in the review period.
In the current fiscal year, the demand for chemical fertiliser is estimated to be around 520,000 metric tons.
Out of the total demand, 310,000 tonnes are estimated to be of urea, 190,000 tonnes of DAP and 20,000 tonnes of potash. In the review period, 232,086 tonnes of chemical fertilisers have been imported.
The survey said that the irrigation facility was extended on an additional 2,000 hectares of land in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, reaching 58 percent of the total 2.64 million hectares of arable land.
In the review period, the survey said that 45.31 percent of Nepal’s total land is covered with forest, including bushes and buffer zone.
In the same period last fiscal year, forest coverage was at 44.8 percent of the total land.
The survey said that 95 percent of the total population has access to electricity. The total electricity connected to the national grid has reached 2,666 MW, a 21.7 percent increment compared to mid-July last year.
The total length of the national highway has reached 34,100 km. Out of the total highway, 17,480 km has been blacktopped while 7,956 km is a gravel road. The dirt road is 8,664 km.
In the first eight months of the current fiscal year, 104 km of road has been added, 316 km of road have been upgraded to gravel and 248 km has been blacktopped.
The survey showed that 92 percent of the total population has access to Radio Nepal, 72 percent of the household has access to the television and 130.64 percent of the total population uses the internet.
The school enrollment rate in the primary level (classes 1 to 5) has reached 97.1 percent, the basic level (classes 1 to 8) has reached 95.1 percent and the secondary level (classes 9 to 12) has reached 57.4 percent, according to the survey.
Nepal has only 1.15 doctors and 2.54 nurses in hospitals for every 1,000 population.
The total number of registered health workers in the country is 307,048.
The number of women giving birth in a health institution is 79.3 percent and fully immunised children are 80 percent.
The survey said that 94.93 percent of the total population has access to drinking water. However, only 25.81 percent of the population has access to quality drinking water.
The number of beneficiaries of the social security fund has reached 3.68 million individuals.