KATHMANDU, April 6: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma underlined the urgency of making a resolution to develop the dry port as an export center.
The remittance and import-based economy is risky for Nepal, Minister Sharma said, stressing the dry port should be developed as a center point for exporting goods. At a program organized following the inauguration of the dry port by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday, Finance Minister Sharma said the dry port should be strategically used to increase export of food items and agro-based goods.
The Finance Minister also highlighted the need of moving towards independence by converting labor and natural resources into capital. He further expressed the readiness on part of the government to collaborate with private sector and cooperatives for the same.
Presenting the data related to import and export on the occasion, he said the foreign import has been estimated to be Rs 1,308 billion as of mid March 2022 and this has increased by 38 percent in comparison to last year. He further shared that the country has made an export of Rs 147 billion in the last eight months which is a slight progress than it was in the previous year.
Mere contribution of 10 percent to a total volume of foreign trade was nominal, the minister shared, adding COVID-19 pandemic followed by Russia-Ukraine war have added serious challenges to the country's economy. As of mid-March, the country's reserve amounted to Rs 940 billion, he said, adding the reserve is enough to manage import of goods for at least six months.
The ministry has placed certain precautionary measures to check possible emergence of challenges, Minister Sharma added.