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Thu, April 18, 2024

CNI President Agarwal urges government to lift ban on imports

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KATHMANDU: A delegation of industrialists led by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) President Vishnu Kumar Agarwal called on Finance Minister Janardan Sharma on Sunday. During the meeting held at the Ministry of Finance, the overall condition of the economy was discussed. CNI-affiliated industrialist Anuj Agrawal presented a working paper on the current economic situation of the country, focusing on two key issues — easing the pressure on foreign exchange reserves and solving the liquidity crisis. Agrawal said that it was not logical to compare Nepal's economy with that of Sri Lanka. Nepal's GDP was $33.65 billion and Sri Lanka's GDP was $80.7 billion, it was mentioned in the paper. Similarly, Nepal's actual debt stood at $14.56 billion while Sri Lanka's debt at $89.5 billion, the share of actual debt in GDP was 43% in Nepal and 111.42% in Sri Lanka, Nepal's total foreign exchange reserves stood at $9.58 billion and Sri Lanka's $1.94 billion, the paper mentioned. Similarly, Nepal's inflation reached 7.1% and Sri Lanka's 25% due to the impact on the international price chain. According to industrialist Agrawal, Nepal's economy is much stronger than that of Sri Lanka in the main indicators showing the economic outlook. On the occasion, CNI President Agarwal suggested that instead of banning imports, the tax rate should be increased and the interest rate on loans for imports should be changed to overcome the pressure on foreign exchange reserves. He also suggested differentiating interest rates on loans for production and imports. Stating that the internal and external tourism sector has seen significant improvements, the CNI President suggested the government announce packages to build infrastructure and attract tourism. He also suggested issuing gold-based bonds, offering an additional 2% interest rate on remittance deposits, and attracting non-resident Nepalis to open dollar accounts. On the occasion, Finance Minister Sharma said, "Nepal's economy is not like that of Sri Lanka and we are working to reform the economy so that it does not become like Sri Lanka." He also informed the CNI representatives that the current problems of the economy will be addressed through the budget for the fiscal year 2022/23. READ ALSO:
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MARCH 2024

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