Fri, April 12, 2024

'Action must come from deeper values of integrity, innovation and compassion in uncertain times'

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The Covid 19 pandemic was a global crisis that came out of nowhere. We were all in it together. It did not matter which country we lived in or what our backgrounds were. It was a common fight. But the post pandemic is economically volatile and uncertain. 

Countries struggle with unsustainable debt burdens, rising food costs and liquidity crisis. It is estimated by the UN that 7% of the world’s population will still be living in poverty by 2030. For entrepreneurs, the ecosystem has changed significantly. Inflation persists and markets continue to shrink. Doing business has become costlier and more complex and negotiating the scale of challenges more difficult. 

Every day, the common man faces pressures of higher prices, declining savings, more borrowing and employment loss. Job cuts, unpaid salaries, cutdown on expenditure, difficulty paying EMIs and lowered appetite for risk and loans play on the vulnerabilities of the citizen. 

The relentless outflow of Nepali youth to enter the international labour market at any cost shows that young people see no future to build their lives in the country. When you cannot hold back your young workforce, it will hurt the productivity, the innovation capacity, and the pride of the nation. The central bank macroeconomic report shows that in the first ten months of the current fiscal year, the government has issued permits for over 660,000 Nepalis to work abroad. This number excludes Nepalis going to India for work and the migration of students. 

What is the lifeblood that will enable us to navigate what is now a sustained crisis? I believe that sustained crisis can only be overcome by sustained action. However, action must come from deeper values of integrity, innovation and compassion in uncertain times. It will require leaders in government and business to give equal impetus to economic growth and social progress. It will also demand that we as citizens become more aware about our choices and actions. This time is both a responsibility and an opportunity to collectively endure and restore.

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MARCH 2024

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