Nepal Today

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Kathmandu, 16 Aug.: The government Thursday promoted
Major General Pawan Bahadur Pandey to Lieutenant General and posted him in the Office of the Chief of Staff (CoS), said Minister of Information and Communications Madhav Prasad Poudel.
Lieutenant General Netra Bahadur Thapa of the CoS was promoted as Chief of General Staff (CGS).

The government decided to send VIP security ordinance to the Bills Committee of the Cabinet.

Kathmandu, 16 Aug.:  The domestic economy spent an amount equivalent to 33 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to pay for the annual merchandise imports of the last fiscal year, The Himalayan Times reports..

Nepal imported goods worth Rs 556.74 billion in fiscal year 2012-13. In the same year, the country’s GDP stood at an estimated Rs 1.70 trillion. On the other hand, Nepal’s total merchandise export amounted to a mere Rs 76.92 billion — a growth of 3.6 per cent.

Likewise, the ratio of export to import declined to 13.8 per cent in the review year from 16.1 per cent in the previous year, according to the recently released macroeconomic report for fiscal year 2012-13, released by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). That is, for every rupee of export made, Nepal is importing Rs 13.8 worth of merchandise goods.

Moreover, the ever increasing merchandise imports, yet minimal exports, have pushed the trade deficit to Rs 479.82 billion, which is higher than last fiscal year’s annual budget of Rs 404 billion. Last year’s trade deficit surged by 23.9 per cent while a year ago such difference between total export and total import had increased by 14.3 per cent to Rs 387.14 billion.

During the review period, foreign exchange rate appreciated by about seven per cent, but Nepali exporters seem to be unable to take advantage of the strong dollar. Though exporters would have been able to generate more receipts at a time when dollars had become expensive, Nepali exports to third countries increased to Rs 25.9 billion — an increment of only 5.2 per cent — whereas in fiscal year 2011-12, the amount had gone up by 17.5 per cent.

“Exports to India increased by 2.8 per cent during the review year, amounting to Rs 51 billion while imports from India grew by 22.6 per cent to Rs 367 billion,” says the report.

Despite the widening trade deficit, overall Balance of Payments (BoP) recorded a surplus of Rs 68.94 billion in the review year compared to a surplus of Rs 131.63 billion in the previous year. The current account recorded a surplus of Rs 57 billion thanks to a service income surplus of Rs 7.59 billion and net transfers composing of remittance income. Worker remittance rose by 20.9 per cent to Rs 434.58 billion in the review year compared to an increase of 41.8 per cent in the previous year.

In the last fiscal year, the gross foreign exchange reserves increased by 21.4 per cent to Rs 533.30 billion which a year ago stood at Rs 439.46 billion. On the basis of the trend of imports, the existing level of reserves is sufficient for financing merchandise imports of 11.7 months and merchandise and service imports of 10.1 months, according to NRB report.

FDI commitment soars

Nepal Investment Year 2012-13 seems to have been somewhat successful as the commitment of foreign direct investment has increased by 171.7 per cent and the number of joint venture projects has risen by 32 per cent, according to a macroeconomic report for fiscal year 2012-13 released by Nepal Rastra Bank. Citing Department of Industry, report says department granted 300 joint venture projects with foreign direct investment commitment of Rs 19.39 billion. In previous year, 227 joint venture projects were approved with a total investment of Rs 7.14 billion. According to the report, out of 300 projects approved in the review year, 87 are tourism related, 85 services, 77 manufacturing, 42 agriculture, four energy, four mineral and one construction related project. Of the total 300 projects approved in the review year, the country-wise analysis depicts the largest number were from China (96) followed by India (37), South Korea (24), USA (22) and 121 from other countries. The approved projects were expected to generate direct employment opportunities for 14,895 people.

General price level

 The rate of rise in general price level remained just a bit shy from being double-digit in the last fiscal year. According to Nepal Rastra Bank’s inflation data, the average year-on-year inflation stood at 9.9 per cent in fiscal year 2012-2013. In the corresponding period of the previous year, it stood at 8.3 per cent. The index of food and beverage group increased by 9.6 per cent whereas non-food and services group increased by 10 per cent during the review period. These indices had increased by 7.7 per cent and nine per cent, respectively, in the corresponding period of the previous year.


Kathmandu, 16 Aug.: Chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) Lokman Singh Karki today warned top officials of the board of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) with action if they failed to eliminate corruption and irregularitiesm The Himalayan Times reports..

The CIAA chief directed the NEA board Chairman, members and top officials after inviting them to the CIAA headquarters and warned he would open all the graft cases against them as there are still 10 cases pending against NEA officials.

Informing that 11 officials were arrested when two cases were opened, Karki told the authorities that there were 10 more cases pending in the anti-graft body. During the meeting, Energy Secretary Bishwo Prakash Pundit, chairman of the NEA board, Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi, a member of the Board and other top officials, including Managing Director Rameshwor Yadav, were present.

“Karki warned that if they could not control electricity leakage and limit load-shedding by winter, serious action would be initiated against them,” a source privy to the interaction told The Himalayan Times. According to him, Karki had clearly indicated Yadav, who faces investigation on the basis of statements from the recently arrested officials.

He also told the Ministry of Energy and the NEA board to find the truth regarding the transfer scam. Karki also directed the Secretaries to provide essential support to complete national level projects keeping in mind their significance.

According to a press release issued after the interaction, Karki directed officials to decide independently and impartially.

Karki told the NEA to come up with a clear roadmap with regard to construction of Chameliya, Kulekhani III, Upper Tamakoshi and Rahughat electricity projects and to avoid a dangerous situation arising from the transfer scam, which has created problems in electricity storage and supply.,


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